An Uber driver in San Francisco, California, was attacked and coughed on by a group of three female passengers and one of the women also pepper-sprayed him when leaving the car, authorities said, after he refused to drive them if they didn’t wear masks. The altercation, which happened on Sunday at around 12:45 p.m., was captured on a video that has been circulating on social media.
The Uber driver, identified as Subhakar Khadka, 32, took the video and spoke to KPIX5 about the altercation, which he said began after he pulled over to request that the women wear facemasks. He told the outlet, “You guys are animals to treat other human beings like this.” The video is available below and has already been viewed over a million times:
Khadka Said He Drove Them to a Gas Station So They Could Buy Masks & He Was Eventually Pepper Sprayed by 1 of the Women
The video begins as one of the women tells Khadka “F*** the masks!” and coughs repeatedly in his direction. Khadka told KPIX5 that he had pulled over to ask that they were facemasks or to get out of his vehicle. He told the outlet, “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.”
In the video, the woman also lunges forward and grabs his phone, yelling “What’re you gonna do?” then pulls off his mask and throws it on the ground. The women continue to yell at Khadka, telling him he’s about to get “beat the f*** up.” San Francisco police said Khadka was able to get his phone back before the women fled the scene, KPIX5 reported.
He said he also drove them to a gas station so that the woman without a facemask could buy one but the women continued to taunt him and insult him. Khadka revealed to KPIX5 that when they left his car, the woman who is wearing red in the video pepper-sprayed him and he had to get out since he couldn’t breathe.
Khadka Said He Thinks He Was Assaulted Because He Is a South Asian Immigrant & 1 of the Women Addressed the Incident Online
Khadka told KPIX5 he has lived in the U.S. for eight years and he works to support his family, which is still in Nepal. He said he believes his skin color made him a target: “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 continued, “Since you were born and raised here in the United States, don’t think the other person is less human.”
One of the women in the video posted her own clips of the altercation, which are longer, on her Instagram page, where she wrote, “You not bout to just drop us off in the middle of the hood and the freeway and I’m not about to just get on bulls*** for no reason he had us f***** up and cropped the video.” She wrote that the Uber driver was “clout chasin” and wanted to go viral but didn’t let them wait for their next Uber in his vehicle and also wrote, “kidnapped.”
Uber told KPIX5 in a statement that they saw the video of the incident and said it is “appalling” and that the rider has been removed from the platform. Khadka said the company gave him $120 to clean the vehicle but it is not sufficient. San Francisco Police have asked anyone with information about the incident to call the Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.