An Asian Uber driver in San Francisco has filed a police report after being threatened and harassed by racist passengers on Sunday afternoon.
The Nepalese driver, who goes by Subhakar, picked up three riders in the Bayview neighborhood at around 12:45 p.m. and noticed that one of the women was not wearing a mask.
After Subhakar asked her to wear a mask, the group allegedly started yelling racial slurs at him. In response, Subhakar stopped the car at San Bruno and Silver Avenues and asked them to leave his vehicle, police told NextShark.
However, the riders reportedly refused. Subhakar pulled into a gas station so that the woman without a mask could buy one, but the situation only got worse.
Footage from Subhakar’s dashcam shows two of the riders, including the woman without a mask, coughing in his direction.
The woman in question then tries to steal Subhakar’s phone and grab his mask.
Drivers can cancel trips without facing a penalty if their passengers are not wearing masks. Additionally, they can cancel trips if they don’t feel safe, as indicated in Uber’s Driver Safety Tips.
The riders eventually left the vehicle, and Subhakar reported the incident to both Uber and local police. Uber said it is ready to assist in future investigations.
“The suspects exited the car and the third passenger reached into an open window and sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into the vehicle and towards the driver,” SFPD added. “The suspects fled and the Bayview Station SIT Team is investigating.”
“The behavior seen in the video is appalling. The rider no longer has access to Uber,” a spokesperson told NextShark.
Subhakar is disturbed by the incident — although he has dealt with similar behavior in the past, Sunday’s events were “next-level.”
“I don’t feel like working right now…I’m really disturbed,” Subhakar told ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim, who first reported the incident.
Social media users are demanding justice.
“I hope they are identified and suffer consequences. No one deserves to be treated this way,” one of them wrote.
Another commented, “He should have driven straight to the police station.”
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.