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

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019. (Facebook photo)
Meth, excessive speed found as factors in Osoyoos boat crash deaths

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The automated external defibrillator, like the one pictured here, was stolen from the Skaha Lake Boathouse for the second time in a year. (File)
Life-saving device stolen from Penticton paddler community for second time

It’s hoped that a new boathouse will be able to better protect the device

scales of justice
Guilty or not guilty? Lamb waits on two judges’ decisions

Trials for two of Bryan Lamb’s criminal cases wrapped up this week

Katerina Bakalos of Summerland will release her first single on May 1. The music label is LMS Entertainment from Kelowna. (Contributed)
Summerland singer to release single under Kelowna-based label

Katerina Bakalos has performed a rock rendition of I Think We’re Alone Now

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Virtual meetings are taking a toll on local governance, according to multiple mayors in the North Okanagan. (Headway photo)
Virtual meetings leave North Okanagan politicians out of touch

More than a year of Zoom has led to a disconnect between officials, according to local mayors

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
‘I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident wants the Columbia River better protected

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read