Alex Iovine and Emma Pichl say their Uber driver kicked them out of the car after they briefly kissed
13 June, 2018, 15:31
A confrontation ensued. In phone video taken by one of the women, the driver says kissing in an Uber is illegal.
The couple filmed the altercation on a mobile phone and posted it on YouTube.
When asked about her reaction, the 26-year-old told WABC: "It went from shock to like anger".
"It's disrespectful", the driver said.
"This is an open society and Uber is a platform that is available to anybody regardless of your background, your orientation, and that is sacred to us", Khosrowshahi said. "We had leaned over and peck kissed, and then a couple of minutes later, the driver abruptly pulled over".
Uber lists community guidelines on its website, which specify that "you shouldn't touch or flirt with other people in the vehicle", and that there's "no sexual conduct with drivers or fellow riders, no matter what".
Shortly afterwards the taxi driver, Ahmad El Boutari, pulled over and said: "I don't want to argue with you, just get out of my auto".
"I said ... don't do it", the driver, identified by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission as Ahmad El Boutari, tells the women who then ask the motorist if kissing is "illegal" in an Uber.
Both Iovine and the driver submitted complaints about the incident to Uber. "But I think this has inspired us to get our voice out there more and get out there to celebrate everything this community has done, (what) we have to offer as human beings and the rights that we deserve". "It was 22 bucks".
The couple said they were deeply shaken by the incident, which occurred during Pride Month.
"We were in shock".
On Saturday, the Manhattan couple filed a complaint with Uber, which contacted the pair on Monday, apologised and said the company would fully refund their ride.
Iovine said she's aware of Uber's code of conduct, but was adamant that the two did nothing more than a quick smooch.
'We live in this bubble and think this can't happen here in New York City. "We've never been targeted with such prejudicial behavior" Iovine said.
"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience", an Uber spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission is investigating. "It was a good lesson to show it can happen to you anywhere".
She said they were in lower Manhattan when the driver pulled over, opened a rear door and ordered them to "get out of my vehicle".
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.