SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Ride-hailing service Lyft has also banned a woman caught on camera coughing on and assaulting an Uber driver who refused her and her friends service over in San Francisco over not wearing masks, the company announced Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the woman in question has apparently posted a video on social media in which she expresses some remorse for her actions but continues to rail against and blame the driver for ending her ride and demanding her group leave his vehicle.
In the new video, the woman – who was banned by Uber following the incident – also threatens to sue Uber and ends the video by saying, “That’s why I take Lyft.”
However, in a statement sent to KPIX 5 Lyft said, “Although this incident did not involve the Lyft platform, the unacceptable treatment of the driver in this video compelled us to permanently remove the rider from the Lyft community. Driving in a pandemic is not easy. Please wear a mask, respect one another, and be a good person.”
Separately, the woman in question also posted videos from her own cellphone camera before the incident with the driver, showing the driver telling her and her two friends to get off on the freeway or saying he will drive to his own home unless they exited his vehicle.
The Instagram account @keepinupwforeign has posted a series of videos that appear to precede the incident on Sunday in which the woman responds angrily to the driver’s demands for her and her two companions leave the vehicle because of not wearing face masks.
In the videos, the driver tells the passenger to leave his vehicle and the women refuse, saying they don’t know where they are and they won’t exit the vehicle until another Uber arrives.
The driver, identified as 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka, tells them if they don’t exit his vehicle immediately, he will drive onto the freeway and let them off “in the middle of the freeway.”
In a second video, the car appears to be stopped on a freeway shoulder and the women again refuse.
“You are not letting us out in the middle of the freeway,” one of them is heard saying.
“You are going viral,” the driver says at one point, prompting one woman to say he will be the one going to go viral.
In other videos, Khadka repeatedly tells the women they are free to get out of his vehicle” because the ride has been canceled. The women insist they are not getting out of his car until another Uber arrives One woman is heard saying they will just ride home with him “and you don’t want me to know where you live.”
On Monday, San Francisco police said one of the women also sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into the vehicle and toward the driver after leaving the vehicle at a gas station at San Bruno Ave. and Silver Ave. Sunday at about 12:45 p.m.
In the video shot by Khadka, three women are seen in the back seat berating the driver using and using profanities. At one point, the woman who coughed on the driver also grabbed his cellphone from the center dash area and ripped off the facemask he was wearing.
The driver said he had pulled over to tell the women to wear facemasks and the driver is heard telling the women to get out of his car. The video begins with one woman telling the driver, “F— the masks!” and then repeatedly coughing at him.
Khadka says he believes he was harassed and mocked by the unruly passengers because he is a South Asian immigrant.
“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,” said Khadka.
The driver said Uber gave him $120 dollars in total cleaning funds after multiple requests, which is still not sufficient.
In an email to KPIX 5 Uber said, “The behavior seen in the video is appalling. The rider no longer has access to Uber.”
San Francisco police asked anyone with information about the incident to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.