Woman caught on video coughing on Uber driver surrenders to cops

Nancy Dillon, New York Daily News
·2 min read

A woman caught on video snatching the mask off her Uber driver’s face and coughing on him amid the COVID pandemic surrendered herself to San Francisco Police Sunday night.

Arna Kimiai, 24, was then booked into San Francisco County Jail on suspicion of robbery, assault and battery, conspiracy and violation of a health and safety code, police said.

She quickly posted a $75,000 bond and was released pending a future court appearance.

Hours later on Monday, another woman linked to the incident – 24 year-old Malaysia King – made an appearance in Las Vegas court and agreed to be transferred to California to face similar charges following her arrest last week.

The Uber driver, Subhakar Khadka, 32, was driving the women around March 7 when he realized one of them was not wearing a mask and stopped the vehicle, according to police and video of the incident.

“An altercation ensued, largely captured on video,” police said in the statement confirming Kimiai’s arrest.

Indeed, Khadka’s dashcam video, which has since gone viral, shows the woman identified as Kimiai going ballistic after he ended the ride.

“F—k the mask!” Kimiai yells before intentionally coughing in Khadka’s direction. She then intentionally reaches into the front seat and grabs his phone before ripping off his face mask and tossing it aside.

“I got corona,” King chimes in gleefully as she also appears to cough in Khadka’s direction, according to the video.

“The victim grabbed and eventually regained possession of his phone. The suspects then exited the vehicle, and another passenger reached into an open window and sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into the car towards the driver. The suspects fled the scene,” police said.

The alleged spraying wasn’t captured on the video, but King was charged with assault with a caustic chemical, police said.

Kimiai’s lawyer Seth Morris told KPIX 5 that he and his client coordinated with police so her booking would be handled “peacefully and expeditiously.”

“Ms. Kimiai acted appropriately and responsibly when she found out she had a warrant for her arrest, coordinating her peaceful surrender through her legal counsel and the SFPD. We have no further comment at this time,” Morris said in a statement.

Khadka, who is from Nepal, told KPIX he believes he was targeted because he is a South Asian immigrant.

No hate crime charges were mentioned on either woman’s arrest warrant, and police have not commented on the allegation.

Uber, meanwhile, said it has banned the women from future rides and “does not tolerate racism or hate in any form.”

A GoFundMe fund-raiser to assist Khadka raised more than $97,000 by Monday.