The “Sassy Trucker” from Houston, famously known online, has finally left the United Arab Emirates after a prolonged stay due to a dispute at a Dubai car rental service.
29-year-old Tierra Young Allen embarked on her journey back to the U.S. on Tuesday, with a layover in the UK, as mentioned by Radha Stirling, the founder of Detained in Dubai, an advocacy group known for its critiques of the UAE.
To lift the travel ban imposed on her, Allen settled a $1,360 deposit with the Dubai police, stated Stirling.
The current legal status of Allen in the UAE remains uncertain. Dubai officials have yet to comment on the matter. While the U.S. State Department confirmed Allen’s departure, they remained tight-lipped about any ongoing legal issues she might face in the UAE.
“We take seriously our commitment to assist U.S. citizens abroad,” the State Department said. “Over the past several months, the U.S. Embassy in Dubai provided consistent consular assistance on this case.”
The circumstances of the April altercation at the unidentified car rental agency also remain unclear. Allen earlier had been in a rental car involved in a crash.
Stirling had described Allen as facing possible charges for “shouting” at an employee of the rental car agency, without elaborating on what Allen said at the time. Stirling accused the car rental agency employee of “raising his voice” at Allen and following her out of the shop in a threatening manner during the incident.
Dubai police disputed Stirling’s description of the altercation, instead saying they received a complaint from the car rental agency about Allen “accusing her of slandering and defaming an employee amidst a dispute over car rental fees.”
The UAE has rules that strictly govern speech far beyond what’s common in Western nations. A middle finger raised in a traffic dispute, a text message calling someone a name, or swearing in public easily can spark criminal cases — something that foreign tourists who flock here may not realize until it is too late.
Under Emirati law, publicly insulting another person can carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of $5,450. Disputes over rental car agency fees have seen other foreign tourists stuck in the city-state in the past as well.