Earlier this week, footage was released from inside an Uber vehicle went viral for showing three women attack the driver after he ended the ride when he realized one of the passengers was not wearing a mask. The ride took place in San Francisco, which has strict rules in place for wearing a mask while in public.
Fox News reported that the driver, Subhakar Khadka, picked up three women—24-year-old Malaysia King, 24-year-old Arna Kimiai, and a third woman—but decided to put an end to the ride just a few minutes later when he noticed that one of the women was not wearing a mask.
Khadka has a camera in his vehicle that was able to provide him with evidence of what happened during the ride. One of the women swears at and coughs at Khadka before grabbing his cell phone. Khadka managed to get his phone back quickly, and the woman tears his mask off while shouting “what you gonna do?” The other two women appear to laugh as this event played out.
The three women get out of the car, but one apparently returned and sprayed what the authorities believe to be pepper spray through an open window in Khadka’s direction. The three women then fled on foot.
King was later arrested by the Las Vegas Police Department on Thursday. Kimiai told the San Francisco Police Department through her attorney that she would soon turn herself in.
“We’re glad to hear that Ms. Kimiai intends to do the right thing and turn herself in to the nearest law enforcement agency, and we hope it happens promptly,” Lt. Tracy McCray, head of the San Francisco Police Department’s Robbery Detail, said in a press release. “The behavior captured on video in this incident showed a callous disregard for the safety and wellbeing of an essential service worker in the midst of a deadly pandemic. We take this conduct very seriously in San Francisco, and we’re committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case.”
King was arrested after she and Kimiai were identified by SFPD’s Robbery Unit. King was then charged with assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of the health and safety code, according to police.
Khadka spoke with KPIX 5, sharing with the outlet that he believed he was targeted because he is a South Asian immigrant.
“I never said anything bad to them, I never cursed, I was not raised that way. I don’t hit people, I am not raised that way, so they were not getting out of my car,” he said.
Khadka further told the outlet that when he noticed one of the passengers was not wearing a mask, he requested her to put one on and drove to a nearby gas station where she could purchase one. By the time he arrived at the gas station, the women were already taunting him with racial slurs.
“You guys are animals to treat other human beings like this,” he told the outlet.
He then shared that one of the women pepper-sprayed him after leaving the vehicle, forcing him to exit his car because he was not able to breathe. Uber told the outlet that the woman has been banned from its service. A GoFundMe campaign has also been started to raise money to clean Khadka’s car.