Subhakar Khadka Uber driver attacked by three female passengers after refusing to wear face mask. San Francisco driver who captured incident on video claims being attacked because of his South East Asian immigration status.
An Uber driver in San Francisco captured on video an unmasked female passenger coughing on him, grabbing his cellphone and tearing off his face mask as she and two other female passengers screamed profanities at him after refusing to service them on account of all three passengers not wearing a mask amid the ongoing pandemic.
San Francisco police also said one of the women sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into the vehicle and toward the driver after leaving the vehicle. The incident happened Sunday at about 12:45 p.m. at San Bruno Ave. and Silver Ave.
Video showed the driver, Subhakar Khadka, 32, being berated by three female passengers sitting in the back seat, including using profanities. At one point, the woman who coughed on the driver also grabbed his cellphone from the center dash area and ripped off the face mask he was wearing.
The driver according to KPIX 5 pulled over to tell the women to wear face masks, before eventually demanding they get out of his car. The video reveals one of the woman telling Khadka, ‘F— the masks!’ and then repeatedly coughing at him.
Khadka says he believes he was harassed and mocked by the passengers as a result of him being a South Asian immigrant.
UBER RIDERS COUGH ON, ASSAULT, PEPPER SPRAY DRIVER
Driver Subhakar Khadka, who is South Asian, says he believes he was targeted because of his race. He picked up 3 women in the Bayview yesterday afternoon on San Bruno Avenue. https://t.co/Tzr7kTfyKQ pic.twitter.com/f8PiHDZ9CZ
— Betty Yu (@BettyKPIX) March 9, 2021
‘You guys are animals to treat other human beings like this,’
‘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, so they were not getting out of my car,’ Khadka told the TV station.
Khadka’s ‘nightmare,’ began Sunday afternoon when he picked up the three women in the Bayview on San Bruno Avenue. When he noticed one woman wasn’t wearing a mask, he asked her to put one on. He drove to a nearby gas station so she could buy one. But by then, he says the racial slurs, and taunting had already begun.
‘You guys are animals to treat other human beings like this,’ he told KPIX 5.
As the three women eventually got out of the car, Khadka says the woman in red, pepper sprayed him.
‘She pepper sprayed inside my car, from the passenger window that was open little bit, that was the only window open in my car,’ he said.
Khadka says he had to get out of his car, because it became difficult to breathe.
The app driver says he came to the US eight years ago and works hard to support his family in Nepal. He says he was targeted because of his race.
Identity of all three passengers sought
‘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.’
His message to the women is, ‘Since you were born and raised here in the United States, don’t think the other person is less human.’
The driver said Uber gave him $120 dollars in total cleaning funds after multiple requests, which is still not sufficient.
Uber confirmed the incident and in an email to KPIX 5 said, ‘The behavior seen in the video is appalling. The rider no longer has access to Uber.’
San Francisco police said the driver was able to regain possession of his phone from the woman and the three women fled after the attack.
Police are now asking for the public’s help in identifying the passengers.
Social media has since tied an Instagram account, keepinupwforeign showing Sunday’s incident to that of Bay Area woman, Arna Kimiai of Persian descent.
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.