WATCH | Uber driver coughed on by passenger after refusing ride for not wearing mask

11 March 2021 - 07:20
Uber has condemned the behaviour of passengers who refuse to wear face masks.
Uber has condemned the behaviour of passengers who refuse to wear face masks.
Image: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

E-hailing service Uber has condemned the behaviour of passengers who refuse to wear face masks. A video showing three women assaulting a driver in San Francisco, US, who refused to give them a ride for not wearing masks has gone viral.

In the video that was shared on Twitter, the passengers can be heard screaming profanities and racial slurs at the driver shortly after he picked them up.

“F**k the mask,” said one woman, before ripping off her mask and coughing on the driver several times.

“And I got corona,” another passenger said, laughing.

According to KPIX5, the incident occurred on Sunday and the driver was identified as 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka, who is of south Asian descent.

Speaking to the publication, Khadka said, “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.” 

Responding to the video, Uber said it removed the rider's access on its platform.

“This behaviour 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,” said Uber.

Uber's community guidelines have a “no mask, no ride” policy during the coronavirus pandemic, and the company says it does not tolerate threatening or rude behaviour.

Cyan Banister, a venture capitalist who was an early Uber investor, started a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $20,000 (about R302,760) and by Wednesday, the page had raised about $33,982 (R514,873).

“I saw the video of Subhakar’s assault and I was at a loss for words that people would treat someone the way the three women did. I’m thankful that he had a dash cam on so he could record what happened to him,” said Banister

“I set the goal amount high, because I wanted to make sure we raised enough for lost wages, a destroyed interior of his car (it isn’t easy to get pepper spray out and it isn’t safe for riders to be in the car) and any legal fees he may have coming that he doesn’t yet know about.”


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