An Uber driver was videotaped on Saturday kicking a lesbian couple out of his vehicle because they shared a brief kiss in the backseat, according to the couple.
Alex Iovine, a 26-year-old advertising consultant, told her story to the New York Daily News on Monday. She said:
I was taking an Uber yesterday afternoon in Manhattan when my driver abruptly pulled over and kicked myself and my girlfriend out of the car. He yelled at us for being disrespectful and inappropriate because we pecked on the lips.
According to Iovine, she and her girlfriend, 24-year-old Emma Pichl, digitally hailed a ride from the popular rides-haring app at around 5 p.m. on Saturday. The couple was leaving Pig Beach in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn where they had just finished celebrating a friend’s birthday party.
Iovine noted that their Uber was actually taking them to a different birthday party in Manhattan’s East Village when the incident occurred.
Iovine also said neither she nor Pichl were drunk when they kissed and that they are both aware of Uber’s rules against having sex in the backseat of driver’s cars and was insistent that absolutely nothing sexual occurred. She said, “We were sitting on opposite sides of the car. We leaned in for a peck, and that’s what it was, a legit peck.”
Immediately after exiting the Manhattan Bridge, their driver stopped the car on Canal Street, home of Manhattan’s Chinatown, and told the couple to get out. Iovine went on:
He said, ‘Get out of my car.’ My girlfriend started laughing. She thought he was joking.
In the video, the unidentified driver can be seen wearing an undershirt and sunglasses as he opens the backdoor the car just after pulling over to force the couple out. Iovine asks why they’re being booted from his car. He says, “It’s illegal. You can’t do this in the car. You aren’t allowed to do this.” One the women replies, “Nothing is illegal. It’s not illegal to kiss in New York.”
In response, Uber refunded the $22 spent on the ride and issued the following statement, “Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience. We are investigating and will take appropriate action.”
[image via screengrab]