Asian Uber Driver Coughed on, Pepper Sprayed By Racist Riders in SF

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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.

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The riders argue with Subhakar over wearing a mask. Image Screenshot via Dion Lim

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.

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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.

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The rider without a mask coughs in Subhakar’s direction. Image Screenshot via Dion Lim

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. 

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The rider without a mask tries to steal Subhakar’s phone. Image Screenshot via Dion Lim

Uber has a “No Mask, No Ride” policy in response to COVID-19. The company’s community guidelines also state zero tolerance for physical violence and inappropriate comments.

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.

Subhakar takes his phone back and defends himself. Image Screenshot via Dion Lim

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.

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“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 shows his mask after it was forcefully taken by the rider without a mask. Image Screenshot via Dion Lim

Subhakar is disturbed by the incident — although he has dealt with similar behavior in the past, Sunday’s events were “next-level.”

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“I don’t feel like working right now…I’m really disturbed,” Subhakar told ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim, who first reported the incident.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dion Lim (@dionlimtv)

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.”

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Feature Images Screenshots via Dion Lim

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