The city of Portland has revoked the permit of a driver accused of kicking a lesbian couple out of his Broadway Cab taxi on the side of I-84 and fined the company.
Ahmed Egal violated city codes by failing to get his customers to their destination safely, according to a notice of proposed revocation issued by the city on Tuesday, and also dissuaded a second driver from taking the women home.
"You have indicated that you do not believe you are responsible to take passengers safely to their destination, you do not see a problem with preventing another driver from taking them to their destination, nor are you responsible to respond to my requests for information regarding complaints," wrote Frank Dufay, the city's regulatory program administrator, in the notice.
The couple, Kate Neal and Shanako DeVoll, got out of the cab on the side of eastbound I-84, near the 102nd Avenue exit. They climbed an embankment to leave the freeway. A friend from out of town was riding with them in the cab when the incident happened, said Nicholas Yanchar, the couple's attorney.
The women say Egal made homophobic statements, then forced them out of the cab.
But Egal told a 911 dispatcher the women did not want to pay their fare and said they wanted to leave his taxi.
"My clients are satisfied that this result provides evidence that they were not in the wrong that night as many have claimed," Yanchar wrote in an email. "People assumed that they were drunk and therefore the driver was justified in leaving them on the side of I-84; however those accusations were only based on speculation without having all the facts."
Yanchar said the women are considering further action but have not made a decision at this time.
The city is also fining Broadway Cab $1,000, saying the company failed to provide a prompt response when the couple called the company's dispatch that night.
"We believe the 911 call of the incident tells a different story," said Raye Miles, the president of Broadway Cab, in a written statement. "We will comply with the city and will do everything we can to address the concerns, and continue to be committed to diversity and safety for all 380 of our independent drivers and passengers."
Egal did not respond to a phone call request for comment.
Egal and Broadway Cab each have 10 days to appeal the city's decision, according to the notice of proposed revocation issued by the city.
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