Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft have both banned a woman who was seen coughing on and assaulting an Uber driver on Sunday in San Francisco after she and her friends refused to comply with the company’s mask mandate.
Subhakar Khadka captured footage of three women yelling profanities at him after he cancelled their ride because they weren’t wearing masks.
In the viral video, the woman was seen coughing on and yelling at the driver before hitting him, ripping a mask off his face and grabbing his phone.
The video begins with one woman telling the driver, “F— the masks!” and then coughing at him.
The driver had pulled over to tell the women to wear facemasks and after his failed attempts, he is heard repeatedly telling them they are free to get out of his vehicle because the ride has been cancelled.
In another video, in which the car appears to be at a gas station, the women say they won’t get out until another Uber comes to get them. The driver then tells them to get out of the car and says he’s going home. One of the women tells him to stay and wait or they’ll be going home with him, before adding “you don’t want me to know where you live.”
Khadka says he believes he was harassed and mocked by the unruly passengers because he is a South Asian immigrant.
“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, they were not getting out of my car,” said Khadka.
The San Francisco police said they were investigating the incident.
“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. The suspects fled the scene,” the police said.
After releasing a video vowing that she’d only use Lyft after Uber banned her, Lyft released a statement saying it made a preemptive decision to also ban the rider permanently, citing her disrespectful behaviour.
Shortly after the companies banned the rider, she posted a video expressing some remorse for her actions but continues to blame the driver for ending her ride and demanding her group leave his vehicle.
She also claimed to be arranging to sue Uber.
Screenshots from an exchange between Khadka and Uber show the company initially offered him $20 to clean his car and remove an apparent pepper-spray stain before offering $40 and ultimately giving him $120.
A GoFundMe was started by Cyan Banister, who was one of the first investors in Uber, and is “appalled by the fact that Uber hasn’t done the right thing.” The fundraiser has raised more than $33,000, surpassing their $20,000 goal, garnered to help Khadka with living expenses because he is not able to work due to the trauma.
San Francisco Police are investigating the incident, and no charges have yet been filed.