Chicago taxi driver charged after kicking gay men out of cab

Thu. April 9, 2015 1:14 PM by News Staff

one man injured in april 1 incident

photo credit // seth day

One man injured in April 1 incident

Chicago, IL - A Chicago taxi driver has been arrested and charged after allegedly kicking two men out of his cab and onto a busy highway for sharing a same-sex kiss.

Mahdi Hared, of the 6500 block of South Sacramento, was charged with misdemeanor and battery, according to the Chicago Tribune

The charges stem from an April 1 incident when Shadi Ramini and Seth Day hailed a Blue Ribbon taxi through the Uber app on their way to a friend's house. When the men shared a kiss, the driver ordered them out of his cab on Lake Shore Drive, between Montrose Avenue and Irving Park Road.

Ramini got out, but Day initially refused.

"I was behind the driver so I couldn't just open my door to get out unless I wanted to get run over from traffic," Day told last week. "Before I could move over to the passenger side to get out of the car, the driver slammed on the gas again."

Hared allegedly pulled over again about 30 feet up the road and that's when Day said he tried to exit the cab. While getting out, Day tripped onto the highway, suffering scrapes and bruises on his arms and torso, and road burn on his lower back.

"I was definitely scared," Day said. "I've never experienced anything like this before. It's sad to think in a city that's so diverse that there's still so much hate."

Uber said the driver was not employed through their company and called the incident "unacceptable." "No rider should ever have to go through an experience like this," Uber said in a released statement. "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. The driver was immediately removed from the platform."