PORTLAND -- A Portland cab driver suspended after reports he kicked out his fares on the freeway for being gay called 911 at the time to say the women were drunk and mean.
"These people are real, real drunk. And so mean. And I'm getting tired of it. They want to jump out of the car," the cabbie said in a 911 call last Thursday.
He complained that the women did not want to pay their fare and wanted out of the cab, even though they were on Interstate 205. He stopped the cab on the I-84 ramp.
"These people, they opened the door! I'm on 205 and they're opening the door. I've gotta stop," he told 911.
Kate Neal painted a very different picture last week in an interview with KGW.
"The cab driver saw us being affectionate and took offense to that," Neal said. "He started shouting really hurtful, mean and really homophobic remarks at us. We really didn't feel safe in the cab."
She and her girlfriend and another friend got into the cab in downtown Portland, Neal said. They were in the cab about 15 minutes when the driver started his tirade. They no longer felt safe in the taxi.
He dropped them off on I-84 near 102nd Avenue, she said. A second Broadway Cab arrived to finish the trip, but also refused them service, she said.
She said the trio then climbed a fence and into a neighborhood. A Portland police officer, who was responding to a call of women refusing to pay a fare, gave them a rid home, she said.
Neal referred questions to her lawyer Nicholas Yanchar, who issued a statement and declined further comment. He has instructed the women not to talk further about the incident.
"My clients disclosed from the very beginning that the driver called the police, which is how my clients ended up getting home that night," Yanchar said. "He was responding to the call made by the driver and that is nothing new."
Broadway Cab did not give a comment to KGW, but did post a statement on its Facebook page saying, "We celebrate diversity every day. Discrimination should not, cannot and will not be tolerated."