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Cab driver to 9-1-1: 'They jump out on freeway!'

A Portland taxi driver made a dramatic call to 9-1-1 early Friday morning, one that’s remarkably different from a story told by passengers claiming he kicked them out for being gay.

The passengers included a same-sex couple who claim the Broadway cab driver made homophobic remarks against them and further claim the driver forced them out on the side of the road.

“You can’t be gay in my cab,” is what passenger Kate Neal recounted to KOIN 6 News Friday night.

Neal and her partner got into the cab early Friday morning from downtown Portland. Once on The Banfield/Interstate 84, the driver placed a call to 9-1-1 dispatchers saying the couple was drunk and trying to get out of the cab.

KOIN 6 News has a copy of the driver’s frantic call:

Operator: “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”

Driver: “I have some customers I have in the car, and they say stop on the freeway and get out. They don’t want to pay. These people are really, really drunk. So mean. They want to jump out of car.

Driver: They jump out of car! You stupid girls!

Operator: Is there still someone else in your cab?

Driver: No, they jump out on freeway. They’re going to kill themselves here!

Nowhere on the 9-1-1 call do we hear any homophobic remarks — only a cab driver who sounds concerned.

However, the homophobic remarks — if said — could have been made before the call was placed.

The driver’s taxi permit has since been suspended.

Nik Yanchar, attorney for the same-sex couple, provided KOIN the following statement Wednesday morning: “My clients disclosed from the very beginning that the driver called the police, which is how my clients ended up getting home that night. He was responding to the call made by the driver and that is nothing new.”

Broadway Cab is investigating the incident, along with the city of Portland.