NYC cab driver to pay $14k to lesbian couple he ordered to stop kissing
A cab driver in New York City has been ordered to pay $14,000 to a lesbian couple who he told to stop kissing in the back of his car.
The NYC Commission on Human Rights has ordered Mohammed Dahbi to pay $7,000 each to Christina Spitzer and Kassie Thornton following the incident in October 2011.
The driver and the lesbian couple both claimed to have received verbal abuse during the incident.
But based on emotional damages, the cab driver was ordered to pay the damages to the couple.
“We never wanted to financially ruin him,” said Thornton to the NY Post. “We want him to acknowledge what he did, say he’s wrong, do the training, and be a better human.’’
Dahbi has also been ordered ti work with the Community Relations Bureau at the Commission for 164 hours.
The Bureau’s goal is “encouraging understanding and respect among New York City’s many communities.”
During proceedings, Dahbi claimed that the couple called him a “fucking Arab terrorist”, and a “radical Muslim asshole”.
The couple, however, said he had called them “cunts, whores and bitches”.
Spitzer and Thornton said they only performed a “peck” in the back of the car, but that they were told by Dahbi to “keep that for the bedroom or get out of the cab”.
She said he pulled over and told them to get out.
A report from the commission added that Thonrton had “similarly testified that [Dahbi] pulled over and said ‘if you continue doing that, you have to get out or stop it,” and ‘save that behavior for your bedroom.’”
“Complainants testified that at that point they both felt ‘unsafe’ and decided they did not have a choice and needed to exit the taxi,” the Commission’s report noted.
The women took their luggage out of the car and said they would not pay for the fare, at which point, the driver called them “cunts, whores, bitches” said Spitzer.
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The driver’s account of the incident claims that the women were “all over” each other and that they did not just give each other a “peck” on the lips.
He claimed they were blocking his view through the car’s rear view mirror, and that he was distracted by them. He admits that he told them to wait “till you go home”, adding that the women asked him to pull over.
The Commission based its ruling, not on the fact that Dahbi pulled over, but because he told them to “stop that behaviour”.
“That statement constitutes a ‘declaration…that the patronage of Complainants is ‘unwelcome, objectionable or not acceptable, desired or solicited,” the committee said.
Dahbi had also said during testimony that he had asked straight couples to stop kissing too, but that defense was described as “both implausible and not credible,” by the commission.