A Chicago cab driver is facing assault charges for kicking two gay men out of his car.
Mahdi Hared forced Shadi Ramini and Seth Day to exit his cab in the Margate Park neighborhood April 1 after he witnessed the pair kissing, reports the Chicago Tribune. The driver refused to take them to their destination.
Day initially refused to leave the vehicle. And when he finally attempted to exit, Hared drove off, the men say, resulting in bruising, scraping, and road burn of Day’s torso and arms.
Police have charged Hared with misdemeanor counts of aggravated assault/use of a deadly weapon and battery. And his passengers have reached out to the media in response to what they see as discrimination.
“I should be able to kiss whoever I want. If it had been a female I was kissing, there would have been no problem,” Day said in an email to WMAQ, a Chicago TV station. “The fact that this all happened is mind-blowing to me. I hope that this brings up more awareness in general for this issue.”
Hared drives a cab leased from the Blue Ribbon Taxi Association but had picked up the men after being hailed through the Uber mobile app. In a statement, Uber has announced that “the driver was immediately removed from the platform.”
"No rider should ever have to go through an experience like this,” the statement read. “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.”
Watch the WMAQ report below.