Taxi officials move to revoke license of Uber driver who booted two women from car after they kissed -

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Taxi officials move to revoke license of Uber driver who booted two women from car after they kissed

An Uber passenger captured video after a confrontation with the driver, during which she and another woman appear to have been kicked out of the car because they kissed.
Now taxi regulators want an Uber driver to kiss off.
Taxi and Limousine Commission officials said Wednesday that they want to revoke Ahmed Elbotari’s license for pulling over and booting out Manhattan residents Alex Iovine and Emma Pichl when they smooched in his backseat. His license was suspended Tuesday after the Daily News published a video, which went viral, of Elbotari telling the couple to leave his car on Saturday.
Commission spokesman Allan Fromberg said the agency will seek the revocation and charge Elbotari with threat, harassment and abuse, along with refusal to provide service based on sexual orientation. The TLC plans to prosecute the case in the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, and filed a petition Wednesday.
An Uber driver was accused of kicking a same-sex couple out of his car because they kissed in the backseat. (Courtesy Alex Iovine)
“This driver’s actions, if proven, were repugnant and will not be tolerated in this industry or in the city,” Fromberg said.
Iovine, 26, an advertising technology consultant, said she and Pichl, 24, a senior recruiter, hailed the car to go from a birthday party at the bar Pig Beach, in Brooklyn, to another friend’s birthday party in the East Village at about 5 p.m.
Iovine said she and Pichl were sitting on opposite sides of the car when they leaned into the center for a peck. Elbotari pulled the car over on Canal St., just over the Manhattan Bridge.
“He yelled at us for being disrespectful and inappropriate because we pecked on the lips,” Iovine said.
The video shows the couple and the driver arguing.
Alex Iovine (left) and Emma Pichl were kicked out of an Uber for sharing a quick kiss in the backseat of the livery car. (Courtesy of Alex Iovine)
“Why are we not allowed to kiss in an Uber?” Iovine asks.
“It’s disrespectful,” the livery driver says in the video.
The couple become enraged and threaten to call police.
“Nothing is illegal,” one of the women says. “It’s not illegal to kiss in New York.”
Elbotari, 35, told the Daily News Monday that it was more than kissing. He complained that the women were being loud, with one passenger putting up her foot. Iovine and Pichl denied they acted inappropriately in his cab.
“It’s my own car. I didn’t feel comfortable with them,” Elbotari said.
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his license suspension.
“Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have been in touch with the rider regarding her experience,” Uber spokeswoman Susan Hendrick said. “We are investigating and we have removed the driver's access to the app.”

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