The US woman who was seen coughing on an Uber driver in a viral video has been held by the police. The San Francisco Police Department announced that an arrest has been made in connection with an assault on a 32-year-old Uber driver on 7 March 2021. According to the Las Vegas Police Department, a 24-year-old woman, named Malaysia King, has been apprehended for the attack on the Asian driver while a suspect, named Arna Kimiai, has communicated through her legal counsel of her intent to turn herself in soon.
In the viral video, captured by the camera inside the vehicle, the woman passenger is seen swearing at the driver and coughing in his direction, she also snatched the driver’s cell phone which he took back from her after some struggles.
“The behavior captured on video in this incident showed a callous disregard for the safety and well-being of an essential service worker in the midst of a deadly pandemic. We take this conduct very seriously in San Francisco, and we’re committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case,” says Lt. Tracy McCray, who heads the San Francisco Police Department’s Robbery Detail.
On 7 March, at approximately 1:16 p.m., San Francisco police officers assigned to Bayview Station responded to the intersection of San Bruno Avenue and Bacon Street for a reported aggravated assault. When officers arrived on the scene, they met with a 32-year-old male victim who said that he was assaulted by two female suspects. The victim identified himself as a rideshare operator.
According to the driver, Subhakar Khadka, who is from Nepal, at approximately 12:45 p.m. he picked up three female passengers at San Bruno Avenue and Felton Street. The driver stopped and ended the ride a few minutes later when he realized one of the passengers was not wearing a mask in compliance with state and local public health orders for COVID-19.
The driver said that he could not continue the fare unless all passengers were wearing their masks. An altercation ensued, and one of the passengers reached over the driver from the rear seat area and stole the driver’s cellphone. The victim grabbed and eventually regained possession of his phone.
The suspects then exited the car and another passenger reached into an open window and sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into the vehicle towards the driver. The suspects fled the scene. SFPD’s Robbery Unit took over the investigation and identified two suspects soon after.
Prime accused Malaysia King was held on the charges of assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy and violation of health and safety code.