Woman Who Coughed on Uber Driver Faces Years in Prison | 22 Words

The Uber passenger who was filmed abusing her driver over his mask policy and coughing on him has been charged for her actions and now faces years in prison.

But just how severe could her sentence be? Here's the full story...

Now, the incident happened in the San Francisco Bayview district on Sunday, March 7th.

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The conflict began when one of 3 Uber passengers refused to wear a face mask, which eventually prompted their driver, Subhakar Khadka, to end the ride prematurely.

Dashcam footage shows the 3 passengers acting in an incredibly rowdy manner...

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But it was the young woman sitting directly behind the driver who escalated the situation.

The passenger could be seen screaming and shouting at Khadka, who had merely asked her to wear a mask.

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"No, f*** the mask," she could be heard yelling in the clip. She could also be heard at one point informing her driver, "I got corona."

Shockingly, she then deliberately coughed on the back of Khadka's head...

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All while her friends shrieked with laughter.

Later in the video, the passenger could be seen snatching his phone from its dashboard holder...

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Before ripping off Khadka's mask.

Speaking to CBS News about the ordeal, Khadka, who moved to the States with his wife and daughter from Nepal 8 years ago, revealed that, upon exiting the vehicle, the passenger attempted to pepper-spray him.

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"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... She pepper-sprayed inside my car, from the passenger window that was open a little bit, that was the only window open in my car."

He believes the attack was racially motivated.

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Speaking to ABC's Good Morning America, the driver said:

"She started taunting me, cursing me... They were making fun of my race. It was unbearable. It was threatening, I was scared for my life."

ABC7 News San Francisco reporter, Dion Lim tweeted the video of the incident...

Where it was quick to spread like wildfire online.

The San Francisco Police Department quickly addressed the incident, saying in a statement:

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"An altercation occurred and a second passenger reached over the driver's seat (from the rear seat area) and stole the driver's cellphone from his hands. The suspects exited the car and the third passenger reached into an open window and sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into the vehicle and towards the driver. The suspects fled the scene."

Uber then followed suit.

Replying to Lim's video, the Uber Support Twitter page wrote:

"This behavior is completely unacceptable and goes against our Community Guidelines. Our team has investigated this situation and removed the Rider's access to the Uber platform."

Naturally, people were utterly disgusted by the footage...

And a GoFundMe for Khadka was promptly launched, with the aim to raise money to support his living costs while taking time off work due to the incident.

"Uber then failed to step up to take care of this Uber driver to help him with lost wages and cleaning from having pepper spray chemicals sprayed into the fabric of his car," the fundraiser's description read.

"They instead began with only offering $20 in compensation for having pepper spray covering his interior fabric. They then upped it to $120 in compensation but this does not come close to the expenses needed to have a professional car detailing to try and remove the strong chemicals of pepper spray and also the lost wages from not being able to work."

Incredibly, the fundraiser has so far raised $99,725...

Completely smashing it's original $20,000 goal.

Meanwhile, as people from all over the world donated money to Khadaka, the incriminating passenger had been identified as twenty-four-year-old Arna Kimiai...

Who, as it turned out, had no regret over her actions.

In fact, she even attempted to shift the blame onto her Uber driver and threatened to sue him. 

In a now-deleted Instagram video, an underwear-clad Kimiai claimed that Khadka forced her to get out of his vehicle on a freeway and refused to wait for another Uber to arrive, which she argued was unsafe because it was "in the hood."

She then suggested that Khadka was "lucky as hell" she didn't beat him up.

"He lucky as hell I ain't have nothing on me... Cause if we would've played with me, bruh, it would've been a whole different story," she said. "Seventy-five-percent of people I know would have smacked the s**t out of him."

"All I did take his mask off and cough a little bit but I don't even have corona."

Though she did express a little bit of remorse - if that's what you want to call it - over her deliberate coughing.

"I ain't gonna lie, that was disrespectful as f**k. I was dead a** wrong for that."

But last week, Kimiai evidently had a change of heart.

According to the San Francisco PD, the young woman turned herself into the authorities on Sunday where she was immediately booked into the San Francisco County jail, as per TMZ.

She has since been slapped with 4 charges:

Robbery, assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of health and safety code.

While we're not quite sure what the robbery charge applies to...

ABC7 has confirmed that Kimiai's bond is currently set at $75,000.

And in a new report, Vice has broken down the charges, saying she could be facing years in prison.

The outlet explained the charge of battery of a transit employee comes with a potential one year in prison and up to $10,000, while the first-degree robbery charge could see her in prison for anything between 3 and 9 years.

Along with that, a sentence for Kimiai's conspiracy to commit a crime charge also holds a potential of 1 year in prison...

And that's before taking into account her violation of California's mask mandate and health codes, which could carry a number of fines.

​Lt. Tracy McCray, who heads the San Francisco Police Department's robbery detail, said Kimiai's "callous behavior" would be met with justice.

Speaking before she had handed herself in, McCray said:

"The behavior captured on video in this incident showed a callous disregard for the safety and wellbeing 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."

Another of the women in the video, twenty-four-year-old Malaysia King, has also been arrested on charges of assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of the health and safety code.

We hope justice will soon be served for Khadka who deserves so much more than this disgusting treatment.

Stay posted for updates on this developing story.