Tuesday, October 19

Women face charges for alleged assault on Uber driver who asked to wear a mask

(CNN Business) — When Subhakar Khadka immigrated to California seven years ago, he had his sights set on a simple life with simple goals: to earn a living so that his family in Nepal could join him in the United States.

But to make his dream come true, he became an Uber driver and had to deal with some tough situations, he told CNN.

Khadka, 32, recently shared a 42-second dash cam video of a confrontation she had with three clients inside her car. He said the dispute began over the women’s refusal to wear face masks.

San Francisco police identified two of the three women in the car as Arna Kimiai, 24, and Malaysia King, 24.

King has been identified as the woman in a red suit seen on the far left of the video, while Kimiai has been identified as the woman on the far right, directly behind Khadka in the video, said Adam Lobsinger, information agent San Francisco Police Department public, he told CNN.

In the video, the woman identified as Kimiai removes her mask, removes the mask from Khadka’s face, coughs in her direction, and attempts to take her cell phone away. Meanwhile, the woman identified as King, seen with her mask under her face, announces that she has the coronavirus.

Las Vegas Police Department police officers detained King Thursday for battery with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy and violation of the health and safety code, according to a statement from the San Francisco Police Department.

Kimiai “remains pending (custody) at this time, but communicated through his legal adviser late in the afternoon to the San Francisco Police Department of his intention to surrender soon,” the police statement said Thursday.

The San Francisco Police Department said the cartoons against Kimiai would be made public when she is detained or surrendered.

CNN has made repeated efforts to contact King and Kimiai for comment and has received no response. CNN has also tried to reach Kimiai’s attorney. It is unclear if King has an attorney at this time.

The suspects of the attack in the Uber fled the place

Khadka says he picked up the three women in San Francisco on Sunday, March 7, around 12:45 p.m. He soon noticed that one of the passengers was not wearing a mask, so he stopped the trip a few minutes later, according to agent Robert Rueca. of the San Francisco Police Department. Khadka told CNN that he stopped the car to allow the unmasked passenger to enter a gas station and buy a mask, which he did.

But Khadka said that at that point he had grown tired of the mocking behavior of the female passengers. When the woman returned to the car from the gas station, she told the passengers that she was finishing the trip, that she was going home. That announcement, she said, further enraged the passengers.

In the video, the woman identified as Kimiai can be seen sitting directly behind Khadka, removing her mask and coughing in his direction.

“Fuck the mask,” he says. Meanwhile, the red-clad woman, identified as King, can be heard saying, “And I have a crown,” while lowering the mask to her chin.

Right after, the woman behind Khadka reaches into the front seat of the car and tries to grab Khadka’s cell phone.

Khadka is able to retrieve it and says, “Don’t touch my property.”

In a statement to CNN, Uber said: “In this case, we have prohibited (the use of the service) the three passengers and have contacted Mr. Khadka to offer our support.”

In May, Uber began requiring drivers to take selfies on the app to verify they were wearing a mask or face shield before picking up passengers.

Passengers should also confirm that they are wearing a mask or face covering before calling for a car. But there is no selfie requirement for passengers as there is for drivers. Uber relies on drivers and riders to hold each other accountable.

Disputes over masks have culminated in violent clashes during the pandemic.

“Violent crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise, and it’s disgusting how people think it’s okay to treat another person like this,” Khadka said. “I have so many friends who have worked in stores, gas stations, in this customer service business and most of them tell me the same stories.”

“I think the way I speak, the way I look, plays a big role here,” he said.

In the video, the woman identified as Kimiai can be seen removing her mask, ripping one of the strings that hold the mask in place, rendering it useless.

“Now you’re about to take a beating,” says the woman identified as King.

The confrontation lasted about 15 minutes, according to Khadka.

It’s unclear what happened before or after the 42-second clip. Khadka said her camera records only when her car is running, and there were moments that went unrecorded because it was parked and refused to drive until all the women were masked. The clip is just part of the video that Khadka has given to the San Francisco Police Department.

Finally, the women got out of Khadka’s car, he said. But one person “reached into an open window and sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray on the vehicle and at the driver,” according to Officer Rueca. It is unclear who did this and this moment is not captured in the 42 second video clip.

The suspects fled the scene, according to a police report, and although an arrest has been made, the San Francisco Police Department said it is still investigating the incident.

“We are happy to hear that Ms. Kimiai intends to do the right thing and turn herself in to the nearest law enforcement agency, and we hope that will happen immediately,” Lt. Tracy McCray said in a police statement. “The behavior captured on video in this incident showed an indifferent disregard for the safety and well-being of an essential services worker in the midst of a deadly pandemic. We take this conduct very seriously in San Francisco, and we are committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case.

‘We need justice’

Following the confrontation, Khadka approached Uber to report the assault incident.

“The behavior seen in the video is appalling,” said an Uber spokesperson. “As a result, the user no longer has access to Uber. Our policy is clear: no mask, no respect, no transportation.

After documenting the incident with authorities and Uber, Khadka said that he realized that his car could not be driven.

“Anyone who walks in and puts his hand in the area of ​​the car and somehow wipes his nose, mouth or eyes, that will hurt him,” he said, referring to the pepper spray.

Khadka said he asked Uber to help pay for the cost of cleaning his car and that the company paid him $ 370. Uber said he gave Khadka $ 250 and other financial support, and that it is up to the driver to reveal how much. gave him company.

After cleaning his car, Khadka returned to the tracks.

“Nobody wants to go out on Sunday and work, but I was already doing it,” he said. “So I tried to work, took a couple of walks and didn’t feel like I was right, in all my senses, I was thinking about something else and driving and that’s not safe at all, so I went home.”

Khadka said he has not returned to the tracks since the attack last Sunday.

When the video began to circulate online, Khadka wanted to share what happened to his family in Nepal.

“They are family, they care a lot,” he said. “So I called them and said: ‘There is a video that is coming out, please do not panic, it is only for a social cause, we need justice.'”

“The pandemic has hit us in the same way, all over the world, it is the same in Nepal,” he said. “Life is getting back to normal there, so it has been a difficult time for me, but I have to work.”

Khadka said he shared the video to help police identify the suspects.

“Once they are identified, once they are in police custody, we will advance justice and that’s it, that’s what I wanted,” he said.

They created a fundraising account at GoFundMe on behalf of Khadka.


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