(STMW) — A Chicago cab driver who used an Uber platform to pick up fares is facing assault and battery charges after he kicked two men out of his vehicle last week on the North Side.
Madhi A. Hared, 32, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery, both misdemeanors, according to Chicago Police.
About 8 p.m. on April 1, Hared was driving in the 5100 block of North Marine Drive when he got into argument with his two passengers, men ages 26 and 23, police said. The men had used the ride-sharing app.
The argument turned physical, and Hared refused to drive the men to their destination and drove away, police said.
Police would not confirm reports that the men were gay, and were kicked out of the cab for kissing.
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.
Hared is a licensed Chicago cab driver who was using the uberTAXI platform, according to a spokesperson for the Uber ride-sharing service.
“No rider should ever have to go through an experience like this,” Uber spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said. “Not only is this Chicago taxi driver’s behavior unacceptable, it’s in clear violation of Illinois’ non-discrimination law, and Uber’s zero-tolerance discrimination policy as outlined in our Code of Conduct. The driver was immediately removed from our platform,” Anderson said.
Hared, of the 6500 block of North Sacramento, is next scheduled to appear in court May 8. CIty records show he has been a licensed cab driver since 2007.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)