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

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from April 4 to 10, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
Active COVID-19 case in Delta hit new high

262 cases for the week of April 4 to 10, most since BC CDC began releasing weekly city-level data

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. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read