Is Jerry Springer still a thing? I don’t think so. But if it were, some of the women in this story, and one in particular, would REALLY need to be on that show.
Three San Francisco women were in Las Vegas and had just gotten into an Uber. Although capacity limits in the state have increased, there’s still a mask mandate in Nevada, and Uber has had a set mask rule & plan since May 2020, so both drivers and passengers are masked.
Soon after picking the women up, the Uber driver, 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka, noticed that one of the women was not wearing a mask. He stopped the car and said he could not continue the ride until all passengers wore a mask.
The women began to taunt and attack the driver, and one of the women, 24-year-old Arna Kimiai, purposely coughed on him. All of this was caught on camera (Note: video contains adult language):
⚠️ 𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝗘𝗫𝗣𝗟𝗜𝗖𝗜𝗧 𝗟𝗔𝗡𝗚𝗨𝗔𝗚𝗘 ⚠️ Uber driver Subhakar told me he picked up 3 women in the Bayview yesterday & after asking one to wear a mask was subject to slurs, taunting & one grabbing his phone.
He’s taking a few days off.
SFPD is investigating. pic.twitter.com/o99pOooWsw
— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) March 9, 2021
The three women eventually exited the vehicle. Before they walked away, one of them reached into the window and sprayed what the driver believed was pepper spray at him. They then fled the scene.
Following the incident, Kimiai posted a rambling story on Instagram about what happened. She tried to justify her actions and accused the driver of trying to kick them out of the car “onto the freeway.”
Someone found the Instagram video and posted it on Twitter (Note: video contains adult language):
California anti-masker who coughed on a driver says she plans to sue Uber pic.twitter.com/IjlGs0wnRg
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) March 9, 2021
Towards the end of the video, Kimiai said she planned to sue Uber and only use Lyft. However, the video wound up going viral and had been shared so many times that Lyft eventually got wind of it. Here’s what they had to say:
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.
Good for them!
You’d think that would be the end of the story, but wait, there’s more!
Two days after the Uber incident, another one of the women from the car, Malaysia King (the one wearing red in the video) and another man, later identified as David Lewis, were arrested in Las Vegas after they allegedly attempted to use a fake ID to transfer money at a Bank of America. Both were arrested and charged with burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.
It was later discovered King was a wanted fugitive out of San Francisco. She was then rebooked in the Clark County Detention Center and is now also facing charges of assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of health and safety code.
AND we’re STILL not done yet!
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, this isn’t the first time Arma Kimiai (the aforementioned “cougher”) has gotten into trouble, either.
A woman filed a civil suit against Kimiai just last month, due to a 2019 car crash. She’s suing Kimiai for damages, medical expenses, and earnings loss after she (Kimiai) made an unsafe turn and struck the woman’s car in Los Angeles. From TMZ:
The woman’s accusing Arna of negligent driving and “failing to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles,” claiming she suffered severe injuries and is dealing with pain and suffering to this day as a result of the wreck.
Going back to the Uber incident, a local ABC News affiliate in San Francisco reported that Kimiai had taken legal counsel and would be turning herself in.
“We’re glad to hear that Ms. Kimiai intends to do the right thing and turn herself in to the nearest law enforcement agency, and we hope it happens promptly,” said Lt. Tracy McCray.
“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,” McCray continued. “We take this conduct very seriously in San Francisco, and we’re committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case.”
Kimiai turned herself in a week after the incident and was promptly arrested on charges of robbery, assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of the health and safety code.
According to VICE, her bond was set at $75,000 and she’s potentially looking at years in prison. From VICE:
The charge of battery of a transit employee comes with a potential one year in prison and up to $10,000, and the first-degree robbery charge could land her in prison for 3-9 years. A sentence for Kimiai’s conspiracy to commit a crime charge holds a potential of one year in prison.
As far as I tell, the third woman in the car has not been charged with anything.
Meanwhile, the driver, Subhakar Khadka, said that he feared for his life during the incident and was so traumatized that he didn’t want to go back to work.
On top of the emotional trauma, even if he wanted to go back to work, his car would first need to be cleaned of the appearance and smell of what was reported to be pepper spray. At first Uber offered to give him a paltry $20. They eventually raised it to $40, and in the end they gave him $120. Khadka said that the average detail job in Las Vegas is about $250.
UPDATE: Subhakar shared these images with me detailing how Uber offered him $20 to clean his car after one of the riders, according to SFPD sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray in his car.
Uber then offered him $40. In the end he was given $120 for his ordeal. pic.twitter.com/iEHaf9aYTD
— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) March 9, 2021
A GoFundMe was set up to help Khadka with the cost of getting his car cleaned of the pepper spray chemicals, as well as for his lost wages. It was set up by one Cyan Banister. Banister is “one of the first investors in Uber and appalled by the fact that Uber hasn’t done the right thing and is helping organize this fundraiser to help Subhakar.”
So yeah – without Jerry Springer, I don’t know what show this cast of characters could go on. But they sure are…something.
References: TMZ, Twitter, 8 News Now, ABC 7, VICE, Go Fund Me
Feature Photo: pxhere
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary