UPDATED 3/12, 11:30 a.m ET: After a video of a San Francisco Uber driver getting assaulted went viral, the woman behind the incident has been arrested.
NBC Bay Area reports that 24-year-old Malaysia King has been arrested in Las Vegas for assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, and other charges. She is currently being held without bail, while another woman involved in the assault, 24-year-old Arna Kimiai, has indicated she is willing to turn herself in.
“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," said the San Francisco Police Department's Lt. Tracy McCray.
Driver Subhakar Khadka says he believes the attacks were because he’s a South Asian immigrant. “I am relieved that they have apprehended the suspects,” he said.
See original story below.
A new shocking video shows a San Francisco Uber driver getting assaulted, allegedly pepper-sprayed and coughed on by a maskless woman after refusing her and her co-passengers service for not wearing masks.
The driver, 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka, shot the video Sunday as three women berated him in the backseat, with one woman ripping off his facemask, coughing on him and grabbing his phone. He said he eventually drove to a nearby gas station so she could buy a mask.
San Francisco police told KPIX 5 that one of the women sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into Khadka’s vehicle as they were leaving, after Khadka pulled over to ask them to leave the car.
Khadka, who came to the U.S. eight years ago, said he believes he was harrassed because he was a South Asian immigrant.
“I never said anything bad to them, I never cursed, I was not raised that way,” Khadka said. “I don’t hit people, I am not raised that way, so they were not getting out of my car.”
Uber later confirmed told KPIX 5 that “the rider no longer has access to Uber.” Khadka said Uber gave him $120 in cleaning funds to take care of his car, which was not enough after he had to exit his car to breathe following the alleged pepper spraying.
“If I was another complexion, I would have not gotten that treatment from them,” he said. “The moment I opened my mouth to speak, they realized I’m among one of them, so it’s easy for them to intimidate me.”
Lyft has taken a proactive approach to the incident, with the companying saying the woman involved has been permanently removed from its community due to the “unacceptable treatment of the driver.” You can read Lyft’s full statement below.