Three women were filmed assaulting and coughing up on a San Francisco Uber driver when he refused to drive them because they were not wearing face masks.
City police said one of the suspects pepper-sprayed the victim after they got out of the car through the passenger window. The crime occurred around 12:45 p.m. on Sunday at San Bruno Avenue and Silver Avenue.
The victim, 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka, was able to record the encounter through his vehicle’s camera. The three women could be seen sitting on the backseat and berating the victim with profanities. One woman was later seen suddenly grabbing the driver’s cell phone in front of the car and coughing on his back. She also ripped off his face mask.
Khadka said he stopped the vehicle to tell the women to put on face masks. The footage begins at the point where one suspect yells, “F*** the masks!” and repeatedly coughs behind the driver. The victim believes the incident occurred due to his South Asian ethnicity.
“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,” Khadka said.
The driver noticed one of the females was not wearing a mask and asked her to put one on. He then drove the three individuals to a nearby gas station so they could buy one. However, the women started blurting out racial slurs and taunting him.
“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,” said Khadka. The spray made it difficult for the victim to breathe inside the vehicle, forcing him to get out.
“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,” Khadka said.
The driver later sent a video of the incident to Uber, which gave him a total of $120 for repairs and cleaning fees. However, the victim said the monetary compensation was not enough to cover his costs.
Residents have put up a GoFundMe campaign to support Khadka and help him pay for the cleaning of his car, CBS Local reported.
“The behavior seen in the video is appalling. The rider no longer has access to Uber,” the company said in a statement. San Francisco police said Khadka was able to retrieve his cellphone from the woman.