A rideshare driver says he was harassed, assaulted, and coughed on after he asked three women who were riding in the back of his vehicle to put on their masks.
The incident, which was caught on camera, started on Sunday afternoon in San Francisco when one of the passengers got in Subhakar Khadka’s Uber vehicle, removed her mask, and coughed. Video then showed a second woman laughing and coughing.
The woman who first removed her mask proceeded to steal Khadka’s phone and rip of his mask as threats and insults were hurled at him.
Khadka says he believes he was targeted because he’s an immigrant from South Asia.
“I never said bad to them, I never cursed, I was not raised that way,” Khadka said. “I don’t hit people, I am not raised that way, so they were not getting out of my car.”
When the women eventually agreed to get out of the car, Khadka says one of them pepper-sprayed him through a passenger window that was slightly open.
“If I was another complexion, I would have not gotten that treatment from them I am pretty sure,” Khadka said. “The moment I opened my mouth to speak, they realized I’m among one of them, it’s easy for them to intimidate me.”
In a statement, Uber said the behavior shown by the women is “appalling.”
Uber also gave Khadka $120 in cleaning funds.
The riders in question no longer have access to Uber.
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