A gay man says he was knocked unconscious by a bigoted Uber driver in Paris over the weekend. According to Tetu, the 27-year-old victim identified only as "Mohamed" was allegedly forced from the car and beaten by the driver who fled the scene before police could arrive.
"I'm still in shock," Mohamed told Tetu.
Mohamed and a female friend were returning home after an evening spent with others on a boat. During the ride, Mohamed told his friend about a boy he was chatting up at the party. The topic of the conversation was apparently too much for the unidentified driver, who eventually demanded Mohamed get out of his car.
"At that moment I was completely confused," Mohamed recalled, saying the man was "ranting" and "spouting homophobic assaults" at him, claiming at one point "he didn't want a 'queer' in his car."
The distressed passenger tried to flag down another car to help while his friend dealt with the driver. Finally, though, Mohamed had had enough.
"I couldn't take it anymore," he said. "I told him that I'm gay, that I'm proud, and that it's 2020, you aren't allowed to make the comments he was making."
It was at this point that the Uber driver exploded, allegedly punching Mohamed twice and knocking him out cold. The driver quickly fled while his victim fell over a car with his nose gashed open and bleeding.
Police arrived and Mohamed was taken to the hospital where he was determined to have suffered head trauma, and the open wound on his nose required five stitches to repair.
Uber France responded with a statement saying it was "profoundly" regretful about the events. The alleged driver has been suspended pending an investigation per company policy, and Uber is cooperating with law enforcement to locate the driver who remains missing.
While Mohamed has filed a report with police, the memory of the attack remains. Even though concerned passersby stopped to help, there was at least one more bigot allegedly on the scene that night.
"After I filed a complaint with the police, I was walking in the street and for a moment I wasn't on the pedestrian section," Mohamed sadly recalled. "Someone in a moped shouted at me, calling me 'queer,' and it hurt."