Homophobic Uber driver brutally assaults married gay couple after they hugged in his car
A complaint report was filed by the couple, and Uber said that the driver has been fired from his job and they are cooperating in the investigation
An Uber driver went on a homophobic tirade against a gay New York couple and dragged one of them in his car for half a block. Now, the embattled couple has shared details from their horrifying ordeal. On Tuesday night, Taray Carey and his husband Alex were riding in Manhattan's East Village with a friend when Denis, their driver, allegedly launched a verbal and physical assault on them, Daily Mail reports.
"Tonight I was thrown out of an #uber by a homophobe," Taray, a real estate agent and city contractor, wrote on Facebook. "I tried to step out, and he gunned it while my husband was still in the back seat. My friend jumped out when we got to a red light, while the #Uberdriver continued to call us f****ts, and told us we would be beheaded in his country. This is not ok!"
The couple shared photos of 27-year-old Taray's bruises on Facebook, showing his bloodied knuckles and knees and a bruised buttcheek where he was dragged by the vehicle.
In a conversation with Daily Mail, Taray spoke about the harrowing experience. At approximately 1.30 am on Wednesday morning, Taray and Alex, 33, were riding with a friend from Hell's Kitchen to East Village. According to Taray, the ride started out normally and the driver was quiet while the couple, who were recently married, caught up with their groomsman. "Towards the end, we were just talking and asked if our friend was dating anybody," he said.
When Taray put his arm around Alex, the driver asked the trio if they were "f*gs". In response, Taray asked the driver to clarify what he said, who told them they would be beheaded in his country. When the driver continued with his onslaught of verbal abuse, Taray told him to "shut your mouth."
When the car reached the destination, the mutual friend started getting out of the car. However, as they were trying to exit the Toyota Camry, the light turned green and the driver immediately began speeding ahead.
The vehicle dragged Taray half a block down East Fourth Street as he hung on to the car and his husband's arm. In the meanwhile, Alex, who was stuck inside, was yelling at the driver to stop the vehicle. "I was just holding onto Alex's arm and trying to help him out," added Taray. "I was then flung from the car and fell in the street. I did a couple rolls and had a knot on the back of my head."
According to him, the driver kept speeding until he got to the next light and had to stop. Alex saw the opportunity to escape and hopped out of the car to run to his partner. The whole fiasco was witnessed by their friend. However, he was further down the block as he had alighted at an earlier stop.
The couple decided to summon authorities from the 9th precinct after all the commotion. The duo spotted a squad car nearby and approached the two officers present to report the crime. "Emotions were high and we were freaked out," said Taray. "I tried to calm down and started telling the officer to put out some information because he was still nearby, but he told me to not tell him how to do his job." According to him, the officers were "dismissive" and said the trio "probably deserved it." Taray added: "It was the most insulting thing that I ever heard."
Having said that, the officer's body cam footage didn't corroborate Taray's claims, according to Lieutenant John Grimpel, a spokesman for the NYPD. "After reviewing body camera video from the responding Police Officers, at no time did any of the officers mock the victim, tell him that he probably deserved it or laugh at him," the NYPD said in a statement. "A complaint report was filed for leaving the scene of an accident with injury and is being investigated by the 9th Precinct Detective Squad."
According to the NYPD, Taray made negative comments about the officer's appearance and appeared "drunk and belligerent" during the conversation, per the bodycam footage.
However, the incident served as a cruel reminder to the couple that there is still a long way to go for acceptance of homosexuals in society despite the progress made. Taray said: "We had just celebrated one of the best days of our lives and you think you're past a lot of the things we've been fighting for so long, but this is a reminder that we still have a ways to go. You get married and start doing things that you should be doing but then to be devalued and disrespected in such a way is not okay."
After the ordeal, Taray said they tried to locate the groomsman's phone after he had dropped it in the Uber while rushing to exit the vehicle. When they finally found the phone, they saw that it was broken in half and thrown in a garbage can.
Uber informed that the driver has since been fired from his job and expressed that they would help the police with an investigation. "What's been reported is very concerning to us and Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination," the company said in a statement. "The driver's access to the app has been removed as we continue to investigate."