The incident happened Monday afternoon at San Bruno Ave. and Felton Street in San Francisco. (Screen grab/Subhakar Khadk)

The incident happened Monday afternoon at San Bruno Ave. and Felton Street in San Francisco. (Screen grab/Subhakar Khadk)

VIDEO: California maskless passenger coughs on, assaults Uber driver

Police say the incident was ‘racially motivated’

An Uber driver in San Francisco was assaulted by a woman who refused to wear a mask in an incident captured on a now-viral video that he says was racially motivated.

Police said they are investigating.

The woman was with two other women wearing masks when Subhakar Khadka, 32, picked them up Saturday in the city’s Bayview District. The video shows the three women in the back seat berating Khadka, using profanities while the car is stopped on the shoulder of a highway. At one point, the woman without a mask coughs on him, grabs his cellphone from the centre dash area and rips off his facemask.

Khadka told KPIX-TV Tuesday that after the women got out of the car, the woman pepper-sprayed him through the front passenger window.

Khadka says he had to get out of his car because it became difficult to breathe.

“I never said anything bad to them, I never cursed, I was not raised that way,” Khadka said.

Khadka said he believes he was attacked because he is a South Asian immigrant. He came to the U.S. eight years ago and works hard to support his family in Nepal.

“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 not among one of them, so it’s easy for them to intimidate me.”

Uber confirmed the incident and in an email said “the behaviour seen in the video is appalling.”

Both Uber and Lyft have suspended the woman from using their services.

San Francisco police are investigating the incident and said the driver was able to get his phone back from the woman, who has not been identified.

They haven’t said if the attack is being investigated as a hate crime. But it follows a string of violent attacks against Asians Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area and other places.

UberUnited States

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Spray paint was discovered at Hot Rocks. (Special to The News)
Popular Maple Ridge summer destination vandalized

Rocks discovered with spray paint along South Alouette

Police shut down 240 Street after a single vehicle accident. (The News files)
Maple Ridge man dies following crash

Police believe he went into medical distress before accident

An early morning fire forced the evacuation of a Maple Ridge apartment building on Saturday, April 3 (Deborah Hampton/Special to The News)
City of Maple Ridge thanks volunteers for response to Easter weekend blaze

Emergency Support Services volunteers stepped up to help displaced residents

A partial image from the painting Kanaka Creek by Eric Hotz, which in the exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
A Study of Nature exhibition opens at Pitt Meadows Art Gallery

Eric Hotz paintings feature familiar scenes from across the Lower Mainland

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

Most Read