Alex Iovine, 26, and her girlfriend, Emma Pichl, 24, were on the way to a party on Saturday night and called an Uber to take them. “We were sitting on opposite sides of the car,” she said. “We leaned in for a peck, and that’s what it was, a legit peck.”
This was so unsettling for the driver, Ahmed Elbotari, that he pulled the car over and told them to get out of his car.
“He said, ‘Get out of my car,’” Iovine said. “My girlfriend started laughing. She thought he was joking.” She added, “He yelled at us for being disrespectful and inappropriate because we pecked on the lips.” Iovine insists that she and her girlfriend were not drunk as they only had two drinks the entire night.
In the video, you can hear Elbotari tell the ladies “It’s illegal” for them to have kissed. “You can’t do this in the car. You aren’t allowed to do this,” he says. Iovine asks, “Why are we not allowed to kiss in an Uber?” To which Elbotari responds, “It’s disrespectful.”
When asked about his decision to remove these women, Elbotari says that he was acting in his freedoms and wasn’t discriminating against these women. In fact, he says he would have done the same thing if a straight couple tried it, but @NewYorkDailyNews reports that he did acknowledge that he had less tolerance for same-sex couples.
Uber released a statement saying that they don’t tolerate any type of discrimination. “Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience,” Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick said. “We are investigating and will take appropriate action.”
Iovine has filed a complaint with the city’s Human Rights Commission.