A driver for the travel app Uber had a bad day at work when he picked up a group of passengers who proceeded to deliberately cough on him. The passengers then allegedly pepper-sprayed the man and tore off his mask after he claimed he requested they wear a face covering.
On Sunday, 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka alleged the trio taunted him with racial slurs after they packed into his Uber in the Bayview area of San Francisco.
The distressing video taken from Khadka’s car camera shows one of the three women purposely coughing directly on the driver before snatching his phone and then ripping the mask off his face.
Khadka claims one of the other rude customers then pepper-sprayed the inside of his car.
San Francisco police now say that the incident is officially under investigation and are asking the public for assistance in identifying the suspects.
Uber made a statement confirming that the account of the woman who ordered the car is officially suspended.
The other ride-sharing app, Lyft, also announced that the account of the person in question is now banned by their company as well.
Someone who appears to be the suspected woman seems to have posted a video on her social media where she gives a partial apology for the incident but then blames the driver for canceling her ride and telling her group to get out of his car.
In the video the three passengers can be seen sitting in the back seat of Khadka’s Uber. One of the women then coughs directly on the driver before they can be picked up on camera saying, “F*ck the masks.”
The women proceed to obnoxiously yell at Khadka until one of them leans forward to snap up his cell phone before tearing at his face mask.
Khadka said to CBS: “I never said anything bad to them, I never cursed, I was not raised that way. I don’t hit people, I am not raised that way, so they were not getting out of my car.”
He claimed that the confrontation started when he told one of the women to wear her face mask in his car. When she objected, he said that he stopped outside of a gas station so she could purchase one.
He claims that taunts and racial abuse then flared up before one of the passengers pepper-sprayed him as they exited the vehicle.
Khadka is an immigrant who came to the US from Nepal eight years ago to take care of his family. He said of the three women: “You guys are animals to treat other human beings like this.
“She pepper sprayed inside my car, from the passenger window that was open [a] little bit, that was the only window open in my car.”
Adding, “If I was another complexion, I would have not gotten that treatment from them. The moment I opened my mouth to speak, they realized I’m among one of them, so it’s easy for them to intimidate me.”
He sent a message to the women, saying: “Since you were born and raised here in the United States, don’t think the other person is less human.”
Khadka confirmed that he even had to leave his own car, because the chemical irritant in the air made it hard to breathe.
In Uber’s statement the company confirmed: “The behavior seen in the video is appalling. The rider no longer has access to Uber.”
Uber went on to give Khadka $120 in cleaning funds after several requests, which the driver says still does not cover the cost.
The San Francisco Police Department said that the suspects were not able to get away with his phone, but the three passengers left the scene after the assault.