Woman Arrested for Coughing, Pepper-Spraying Asian Uber Driver in SF

Uber driver

A woman has been arrested for coughing on and pepper-spraying an Uber driver in San Francisco last weekend.

Malaysia King was one of the riders accused in the incident, which was caught on the vehicle’s dashboard camera.

Subhakar Khadka picked up King and two other riders in the Bayview neighborhood at around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday.

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One of the riders, identified as Arna Kimiai, did not wear a mask, which goes against Uber’s COVID-19 safety policy.

Malaysia King (left) and Arna Kimiai (right) are accused of assaulting Uber driver Subhakar Khadka. Image Screenshot via Dion Lim

When the Nepalese driver asked Kimiai to wear a mask, the group allegedly started yelling racial slurs at him.

Subhakar stopped the car and asked the women to leave, but they refused.

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The situation escalated as he pulled into a gas station and asked them to buy a mask.

The dashcam video shows Kimiai (right) and King (left) coughing in Subhakar’s direction.

Subhakar defends himself to the riders. Image Screenshot via Dion Lim

Kimiai is also seen grabbing Subhakar’s phone and mask.

The riders eventually left the car, but one of them allegedly reached into an open window and pepper-sprayed Subhakar.

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King, 24, was arrested Thursday in Las Vegas on a warrant for assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of health and safety code.

Meanwhile, Kimiai, who is also 24, plans to turn herself in, according to her lawyer.

 

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“We’re glad to hear that Ms. Kimiai intends to do the right thing and turn herself in to the nearest law enforcement agency, and we hope it happens promptly,” said Lt. Tracy McCray, who heads the San Francisco Police Department’s Robbery Detail.

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“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. We take this conduct very seriously in San Francisco, and we’re committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case.”

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, condemned the recent attacks on the Asian American community.

An Uber spokesperson told NextShark that the three passengers have been banned from the ride-hailing app.

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“We thank the San Francisco Police Department for their swift action. Uber does not tolerate racism or hate in any form, against any community. When one community is being attacked, we are all being attacked. We are shocked and saddened by the recent increase in anti-Asian hate, particularly when it affects a driver or rider. In this case, we have banned all three riders and have been in contact with Mr. Khadka to offer our support.”

King is being held without bail.

The investigation remains active. Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD tip line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411, starting the message with SFPD.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Subhakar.

Feature Image Screenshots via Dion Lim

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