Things That Matter

Uber Driver Records Passenger Coughing On, Assaulting and Pepper-Spraying Him When He Asks Her to Wear a Mask

SCREENSHOT VIA SUBHAKAR KHADKA

There’s a reason so many Americans are critical of the growing gig economy. Unlike traditional jobs, which are often protected by unions and/or human resource departments, gig workers do not have the same security. Because of this, gig workers are often treated unfairly and, in some cases, put in dangerous situations.

Take, for instance, ride-share drivers. People who drive vehicles for ride-share apps like Uber and Lyft often complain of low pay and disrespectful customers. And sometimes, those disrespectful customers turn violent.

On Sunday, a San Francisco Uber driver was assaulted and attacked in his car by a young female passenger (Arna Kimiai) . The woman told the Uber drive she had COVID, coughed in his face, ripped off his mask, and snatched his phone.

The entire assault was caught on the driver’s dashcam footage. The ordeal started when the driver, Subhakar Khadka, asked the mask-less female passenger and her two friends to put on masks. Khadka then pulled into a nearby gas station so the woman could buy one.

Khadka, who is of South-Asian descent, said that by this time, the woman and her two friends were already enraged and calling him racist anti-Asian slurs. Khadka told the women to leave his vehicle, and that is when the assault began.

The woman screamed “f–k the masks!” and started loudly coughing in the car, telling Khadka that she is infected with coronavirus. Khadka looks visibly frustrated but still remains calm before the woman reaches over and grabs his phone from the dashboard. Khadka, shocked, tells the woman not to touch his property.

In response, the woman rips off his mask and appears to start hitting him while threatening to beat him up.

The woman continues to scream at him while Khadka tells her and her friends to get out of his vehicle. The three women simply scream obscenities at him.

Khadka told local news station CBS SF that after the women exited the vehicle, they pepper-sprayed him through his car window.

“She pepper-sprayed inside my car, from the passenger window that was open a little bit, that was the only window open in my car,” he said.

Uber caught wind of the viral video and immediately banned the woman from their service.

The woman, who many outlets have identified as Arna Kimiai, took to Instagram to defend her actions and refused to apologize.

At first, Kimiai, whose Instagram handle is @keepinupwforeign, was unremorseful about her behavior. In an Instagram live video, she said she attacked Khadka because he was about to leave them “in the middle of buttf–k nowhere in the hood.”

“He lucky as hell I ain’t have nothing on me on, mamas,” she added. “Cause if we would’ve played with me, bruh, it would’ve been a whole different story.”

Kimiai also claimed that she would only take Lyft from now on. Lyft, however, was notified of Kimiai’s plans and promptly banned her from their service as well.

“Although this incident did not involve the Lyft platform,” they tweeted out, “the unacceptable treatment of the driver in this video compelled us to permanently remove the rider from the Lyft community.”

Looks like Arna Kimiai will be walking from now on.

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