An Uber driver has had his licence suspended after he forced two kissing women to get out of his car in New York City.
The couple – Alex lovine and Emma Pichl – were travelling from Brooklyn to Manhattan on Saturday when they exchanged what they described as a “peck” on the lips.
They claimed the driver, Ahmad El Boutari, then booted them out of the car – sparking an argument in the street.
The couple, who have been together for two years, filmed the row on a mobile phone.
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 car. You can’t do this in the car.”
“Kissing is not illegal,” one of the women replies. “Why are we not allowed to kiss in an Uber?”
“It’s disrespectful,” the 35-year-old says.
Allen Fromberg, spokesman for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, said the city does not regulate behaviour in Uber cars – but added that what the driver had done was “unacceptable and repugnant” and “will not be tolerated”.
He added: “It’s 2018 in New York City, and this isn’t the way we live anymore.”
Uber has removed Mr El Boutari’s access to its app, saying it does not tolerate discrimination.
Mr El Boutari told the New York Daily News that the women played loud music on their phones and one put her feet on the seat, something Ms lovine denied.
She said they had only “peck kissed” and were “not even touching”, but that Mr El Boutari had been “very angry”.
When asked about her reaction, the 26-year-old told WABC: “It went from shock to like anger.
“We’ve never been targeted with such prejudicial behaviour.”
Ms Pichl, 24, said: “I think for both of us it was just a shock, not really knowing what to say.”