A black man says a white taxi driver locked him in his cab and drove him to jail because he thought he was a fare scofflaw.
Lawyers for Michael Orange, 29, filed a racial discrimination complaint against Marin Yellow Cab on Tuesday with the state agency that handles civil rights claims.
Orange said he hailed the cab outside a bus station in June and asked to be taken home. Instead, the cab driver locked the doors, made an abrupt U-turn and drove to the Marin County Jail.
The driver told Orange he fit the profile of a man who had skipped out on two fares, Orange said. He could either pay the fare in advance or talk to sheriff's deputies, the driver told him.
Marin Yellow Cab declined to comment Wednesday.
Orange, a restaurant manager, said he insisted that the driver call his dispatcher, who verified that Orange was a good repeat customer and could be taken home.
The cab driver did not apologize but told Orange he could have the roughly $11 ride for free if he stayed quiet about it, Orange said. Orange gave him $20 and got out.
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing could levy fines and damages if it finds discrimination. Orange said he wants to make sure no one has to go through what he did.
"I've been in Marin three years and I don't feel at home anymore," Orange told the Marin Independent Journal. "It's tough to choose to live in a place where you have to question whether you're wanted."