(CBS) — Two men say they were kicked out of a cab because they shared a kiss. Now, it’s a police investigation.
Chicagoan Shadi Ramini says he and a male friend called for an Uber taxi ride for a night out on the town. A Blue Ribbon taxi, not a certified Uber car, showed up, and off they went.
He says trouble began when he and his male friend, Seth Day, exchanged a brief kiss just as the taxi pulled onto Lake Shore Drive at Montrose.
“He said I’m not taking you where you need to go, and that’s when me and him got into a panic,” he says.
He says the driver immediately pulled over and ordered them out. Ramini says he got out, but Day refused. That’s when the driver apparently pulled forward about 30 feet before Day finally got out. Day reportedly suffered bruises, scrapes and road burn.
“He tripped over the car and fell over on Lake Shore Drive and had all those scrapes and bruises and injuries,” he says.
Both Uber and Blue Ribbon say there’s no excuse for what happened. Uber released a statement calling the incident unacceptable. “No rider should have to go through an experience like this,” they said, adding that the incident is “in violation of Illnois’ non-discrimination law and Uber’s zero tolerance policy.”
Police and the state’s human rights commission are investigating. According to police, however, the driver claimed the two passengers were the aggressors toward him in the altercation and accused the men of assaulting him.
“That is by far very false,” says Ramini. “There was no assault on our end at all.”
Ramini told CBS 2 he’s shocked by the incident and that it’s the first time in his life he’s experienced anti-gay discrimination. As for Day, he calls the incident “mind-blowing.”