Being an Uber, Lyft, taxi or other ride-service driver during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy. These people have been putting themselves at risk for over a year now so that we can get where we need to go. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates the sacrifices these works make. Authorities criminally charged a San Francisco woman after refusing to wear a mask, coughed on her Uber driver, and tried to steal his phone and mask.
Woman Charged After She Coughed on Her Uber Driver
Three young women called an Uber in San Francisco. One of the women, named Arna Kimiai, refused to put on a mask. The driver, Subhakar Khadka, caught the entire scene on an in-car camera. He pulled over at a gas station and asked the women to get out of his car. What ensued is shocking, to say the least
24-year-old Kimiai and her friends were upset at his refusal to take them where they wanted to go. They begin shouting racial slurs and demanding he drive them. Kimiai then reaches around the back seat and pulls off the driver’s face mask. From there, she coughed on her Uber driver before eventually getting out and attempting to pepper spray Khadka before leaving the scene.
Authorities have put a number of charges against Kimiai, including :
Assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury against a transit operator
First-degree attempted robbery on a transit operator for trying to take his phone from the dashboard of his car
Battery on a transportation driver and violation of a local Covid-19 health ordinance
Authorities have since dropped the robbery charges. However, the other charges remain. (2) If convinced, she faces up to 16 years in prison and fines of up to $3000.
One of her friends who also got in the car, 24-year-old Malaysia King, has been charged in the incident. In the video, she can be heard shouting, “I’ve got corona!”. Police arrested King in Las Vegas and brought her back to San Francisco. She has been charged with battery on a transportation driver and violation of a local Covid-19 health ordinance.
According to Las Vegas Police, they arrested King for attempting to use a fake ID to illegally withdraw funds from a bank account.
Khadka, of course, was shocked and quite shook up from the incident.
“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.” he said. “If I was another complexion, I would have not gotten that treatment from them.”
Watch the video below.
Coughed on Her Uber Driver = Life-Long Ban From Rideshare Apps
Uber responded by banning Kimiai from ever using Uber again. Lyft, also appalled by her actions, has banned her, too. Finally, Uber paid Khadka $120 to have his car cleaned, particularly to remove the pepper spray. (1)
The public has supported Khadka, as well. They set a goal of raising $20,000 to help him out on GoFundMe, which has now raised over $100,000.
Both Kimiai and King are still awaiting court dates where a judge will determine the final ruling.