Uber driver who booted 2 kissing women has license suspended

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Two women say an Uber driver kicked them out of his auto after he saw them kiss in the back seat.

Alex Iovine (26) and Emma Pichl (24) left a friend's birthday celebration at a bar in Brooklyn at about 5pm and hailed an Uber to take them to another party in Manhattan.

A video one of the women took of the incident shows the driver claiming that the kiss was "illegal" and telling them to get out of his vehicle. "She thought he was joking".

The women asked the driver why they were not allowed to kiss, to which he responded that it was "disrespectful".

One of the outraged women then questions the driver, saying, "What are you f***ing talking about?" "I thought he was kidding and then Alex said, 'I don't think he is'".

"Kissing is not illegal", the women protested.


The driver says: "It's illegal". ". Don't do that here in the auto".

Both Iovine and the driver submitted complaints about the incident to Uber.

Iovine filmed driver Ahmed Elbotari telling them, "It's illegal", "It's disrespectful", and "You're not allowed to do this", with Iovine and Pichl arguing with him to understand what they did wrong.

Once over the bridge, Iovine said the driver suddenly pulled over and told the women to get out of the vehicle.

In the footage, Mr El Boutari says that kissing in an Uber is illegal - adding: "I don't want to argue with you, just get out of my auto. I didn't feel comfortable with them", he told the newspaper, adding that he asked the couple to stop kissing.

"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have reached out to the rider regarding her experience", Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick said. TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg says "we reached out to them (the women) immediately and commenced an investigation".


"The blatantly discriminatory behavior described by the complainant is repugnant", said the spokesman. "My girlfriend started laughing".

The Taxi and Limousine Commission and Uber are now investigating.

"We were sitting on opposite sides of the vehicle", Iovine, an advertising consultant, told the Daily News.

"I think we are going to steer clear of Uber for a bit", Pichl 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.

In addition to filing the complaint with the city Human Right's Commission, the couple reported the incident to Uber, as did Elbotari.


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