Uber driver accused of shouting slurs, trying to hit man with car
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) -- As the music played inside of Dru's Place on Madison, people who left the bar on Friday night heard something explicit.
"As I sat down, he said, '*bleep* no food in my car.'"
Ray Rico said that was what came out of his Uber driver's mouth when he got in the car with a box of pizza.
Rico told WREG, "He started cussing at me again, and he says, '*bleep* you suck my *bleep*'"
Rico canceled the ride and got out of the car, but when he called for another Uber, he claimed the same man showed up again.
"Different profile, different picture. No car on the profile of the app," Rico explained.
Rico was able to snap pictures of the license plate and a screen shot of the driver's Uber profile.
Rico reported to police and WREG that the driver threw his car in reverse and backed into him.
"To hear something like that happen here right outside of the building was a little disturbing," Tami Montgomery, owner of Dru's Place, said.
Montgomery said Rico's account of what happened is unacceptable.
"There's no room for that in Midtown. We don't need people like that on the streets providing that type of service," Montgomery stated.
That is the reason Uber currently has the driver, who's name they won't reveal, off of the streets until the company gets to the bottom of what happened.
An Uber spokesperson sent the following statement on Sunday:
"The reported conduct has no place on the Uber platform and we're reviewing both parties involvement in the matter."
Uber's community guidelines prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"I don't know if he had a problem with gay people why he was picking up from a gay bar," Rico said.
While Uber has no proof about what went down inside of the car, its tracking system claimed the driver picked up a different customer in the area and never attempted to give Rico a ride again.
The Uber spokeswoman told WREG the driver's account of the story revealed that Rico ran back to his car and began yelling obscenities as the driver was servicing another customer.
Rico said he is working with police, and the investigation is ongoing.
WREG reached out to MPD, who confirmed that a police report was likely filed, but a copy was not ready for release on Sunday night.
The Tennessee Equality Project released the following statement about the incident:
"Mr. Rico's experience is an outrageous assault on his safety and dignity and therefore an assault on all LGBT Memphians. Uber has begun an investigation of the incident, and Mr. Rico is exploring pressing criminal charges. We call on Uber to complete its investigation quickly and to work with TEP on a review of its diversity training for drivers."
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