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

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

The Primary Urgent Care Centre on Martin Street opened on March 31, 2021. Interior Health is asking for funding from the Okanagan Similkameen Hospital District for the centre. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Interior Health seeks another shot at primary care funding

IH has sent a request for $1 million to the Okanagan Similkameen Hospital District

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
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.”

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

The future of the Eagle Pass Lookout cabin is being discussed. (File photo)
Options presented for future of former Eagle Pass fire lookout in Shuswap

Stakeholders met in 2020 to discuss the restoration, or possible removal of the cabin

(Mayor Cindy Fortin - Peachland)
Peachland mayor declines early vaccination offer

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she wants seniors, immunocompromised individuals to get the shot first

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

WATCH: Conservation group releases short doc on saving South Okanagan’s ‘precious’ Sickle Point

Sickle Point, the last intact wetland near Skaha Lake, is facing the prospect of development

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Most Read