An Uber driver picked up a classy trio of young women during the brunch hours of Sunday in San Francisco, only to have one of them swear at him and cough on him after being told she needed to wear a mask. She's now been banned from Uber and Lyft, but she's still trying to defend herself on Instagram.
If you needed any further reason to be COVID-paranoid about getting in strangers' cars via ride-hailing apps, look no further than this video, given to KPIX by Uber driver Subhakar Khadka. Khadka, 32, says he picked up the three women at the intersection of San Bruno Avenue and Silver Avenue in the Bayview, and he immediately saw that one of them wasn't wearing a mask. The incident happened around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday.
When he told her she needed one, and that he would stop at a gas station for her to purchase one, she screamed at him, coughed on him, and hurled various swears and insults including the phrase "Fuck the masks!"
The woman than reaches into the front seat to grab the man's cellphone from his dashboard, and he struggles with her, his own mask getting pulled off in the process.
One of the other women yells, "Now you gonna get beat the fuck up."
Khadka tells KPIX that he thinks the women disrespected and insulted him because he is South Asian, and when they heard his accent "they realized I’m [not] among one of them, so it’s easy for them to intimidate me."
After they got out of his car, Khadka says, one of the women sprayed pepper spray through an opening in his passenger-side window. He had to then get out of the car because it became difficult to breathe.
He would like to tell the women, "Since you were born and raised here in the United States, don’t think the other person is less human."
Also, wear a fucking mask no matter who you think you are?
Khadka, a Nepalese immigrant, has been in the Bay Area for eight years making money to support a family back home. He says that Uber, after multiple requests, gave him $120 as a cleaning fee, and Uber says it has barred the woman's account that hailed the car from using the Uber app.
Early on in the pandemic, there were multiple incidents of retail theft in the Bay Area in which thieves coughed on store employees or security guards in order to get away with their crimes. In April 2020, federal prosecutors took up one of the cases, charging two women in a shoplifting incident at a San Francisco Walgreens, charging them with robbery affecting interstate commerce.
PSA: Wear two masks if you're in a rideshare vehicle and you're not fully vaccinated, don't use Pool, and open all the windows.
Update: The woman pictured who did the coughing and assaulting has, naturally, gone on Instagram to defend herself. She claims the reason she and her friends were so upset was that the driver was threatening to let them off "in the 'hood" without waiting for them to get another car — which would also have demanded she wear a mask. She admits on an Instagram Live video, "I was disrespectful and dead-ass wrong," but she still doubles down on the reason for her anger and says that "75 percent" of the people she knows would have done something more violent in the same situation and "all I did was grab his mask and cough a little, but I don't have corona..."
She concludes by saying, "That's why I take Lyft!" After posting this, Lyft has responded saying, "Although this incident did not involve the Lyft platform, the unacceptable treatment of the driver in this video compelled us to permanently remove the rider from the Lyft community."
She goes on to post a video in which she is walking around in her underwear, and continuing to make her case, and she apparently says, "I’m an entire dumpster fire of trash but while I’m here, lemme get some followers."
Bb girl really said “I’m an entire dumpster fire of trash but while I’m here, lemme get some followers” pic.twitter.com/1WLjRNR04r— Taylor Cardace (@TaylorCardace) March 9, 2021
She also posted videos from her perspective in the backseat, but I'm not sure what this proves.