Shanako M. Devoll and her partner Kate Neal say a Broadway Cab Muslim driver ditched them on the side of a Portland I-84 Freeway around midnight because of their sexual orientation.
Oregon Live (h/t Rebekkah B) Devoll said she was showing affection to Neal when the cab driver, Ahmed Egal, started making homophobic remarks that were very hurtful to us. We did not want to be in his cab.” But the couple asked to be let off at a safe spot, Devoll said. “This was an unsafe situation. We told him ‘we can’t get out on the freeway. We’re not getting out on the freeway,’ ” she recalled.
Neal said the driver was yelling homophobic remarks at them, and they offered to pay the fare of just under $40 if he’d just let them out at a safe spot, off an exit ramp of the freeway. But Neal said he refused.
Neal said their driver had radioed to another Broadway Cab driver, and a second cab pulled up alongside the freeway where they were let out. The second driver told the three on the side of the freeway to get into his cab, and they did, Neal said.
There was some communication between the first driver and the second outside of the cab, and suddenly the second cab driver told the group in his back seat to get out, according to Devoll and Neal. “That second (Muslim?) cab driver came back and ejected us from his cab,” Neal said.
So Devoll, Neal and another friend who was with them climbed an embankment and she said flagged down a Portland police officer. The officer informed them that he had been dispatched to find them after someone had called to report passengers had skipped out on a Broadway cab fare.
The officer, according to Devoll and Neal, called the cab company and arranged for them not to have to pay the cab fare, and then drove the couple and their friend home.
Oregon Live According to the driver, Ahmed Egal, who has been suspended pending investigation, he called 911 and said of his customers, “They don’t want to pay.” “These people are real, real drunk and so mean. I’m tired of it, ” the driver told an emergency dispatcher. “They want to jump out of the car.”
The driver told the operator that his customers kept telling him to stop. Moments later, the driver is heard yelling, “These people they opened the door…They jumped out on the freeway!…They’re going to kill themselves here.”
On the emergency call, the driver alerted dispatch that another cab pulled up along the side of the freeway after his customers had left his cab. The cab driver told the dispatcher he was going to warn the other driver not to accept the passengers. “Don’t take them, they don’t pay,” the first driver can be heard saying, before he hung up.
The women’s attorney, Nicholas Yanchar, said: “My clients disclosed from the very beginning that the driver called the police, which is how my clients ended up getting home that night.