The woman who yelled at, insulted, coughed on, and assaulted an Uber driver on Sunday because he told her to put on a mask, as seen in widely publicized video of the incident, has said she will turn herself in to San Francisco police, and a second woman involved in the incident was arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of health and safety code, among other charges.
The SFPD issued a statement Wednesday via Twitter saying that the department's Robbery Unit was investigating the case, after the woman was seen grabbing the driver's phone off his dash mount, and pulling his mask off, before ultimately giving the phone back to him. As the police describe it, "An altercation occurred and a second passenger reached over the driver’s seat (from the rear seat area) and stole the driver’s cellphone from his hands."
After the driver ended the ride and let them out a few blocks from where he picked them up in the Bayview, one of the other women in the car reached into his open passenger-side window and allegedly sprayed pepper spray into the car.
(2/4) Due to this fact, the driver stopped and ended the ride a few minutes later at San Bruno and Silver Avenues. An altercation occurred and a second passenger reached over the driver’s seat (from the rear seat area) and stole the driver’s cellphone from his hands.— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) March 10, 2021
The three women got out of the vehicle at San Bruno and Silver avenues, but not before hurling swears and insults at the driver, Subhakar Khadka, an immigrant from Nepal. As he told KPIX on Monday, he believes that when the women heard his accent "they realized I’m [not] among one of them, so it’s easy for them to intimidate me."
As Khadka told ABC 7, there were also threats of greater violence. "She started taunting me, cursing me, questioning me about being a man. The ladies were even talking about shooting me, calling their cousins to shoot me. They were making fun of my race," he said.
Incidentally, a GoFundMe that was started for the driver has raised over $60,000 and counting.
Watch the video again below, if you need. As far as SFist is aware, no arrests have yet been made in the case, but Wednesday's statement suggests that arrests may be coming.
The young woman who caused most of the drama has been identified as 24-year-old Arna Kimiai, and as Bay City News reports, a second woman, 24-year-old Malaysia King, was arrested by Las Vegas police today. Kimiai has not yet been arrested, but through legal counsel she says she plans to turn herself in.
King is believed to be the woman on the left in the video who allegedly sprayed pepper spray into Khadka's vehicle after the women got got. She has been charged with assault with a caustic substance in addition to the other charges.
SFPD Lt. Tracy McCray, who heads the department's Robbery Detail, issued a statement saying, "We’re glad to hear that Ms. Kimiai intends to do the right thing and turn herself in to the nearest law enforcement agency, and we hope it happens promptly. The behavior captured on video in this incident showed a callous disregard for the safety and wellbeing of an essential service worker in the midst of a deadly pandemic. We take this conduct very seriously in SanFrancisco, and we’re committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case."
A woman believed to be Kimiai took to Instagram on Monday to defend herself, and walk around in her bra and panties saying, "I’m an entire dumpster fire of trash but while I’m here, lemme get some followers." Her Instagram account is here, but she finally made it private in the last hour.
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 claimed in the Instagram Live video that she and her friends were mad at the driver because he wanted to let them off "in the 'hood" without protection, and without waiting for them to get another car — another car whose driver would no doubt have told her the same thing: "Put on a mask."
She also claimed she wanted to "sue Uber," and said, "That's why I take Lyft!"
Both Uber and Lyft quickly responded on social media and said they were banning the woman from their platforms — with Uber calling the incident "appalling."
Kimiai's Instagram account suggests she's a breeder of English bulldogs based in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami, and photos showed her maskless in airports in recent weeks in Las Vegas and Miami.
This post has been updated throughout following King's arrest, and corrected to show that the woman coughing in the video and snatching the phone has been identified as Kimiai.