Woman who coughed on San Francisco Uber driver in viral video pleads not guilty

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — The woman who coughed on an Uber driver in San Francisco last month has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, an attorney confirmed Wednesday.

Arna Kimiai, 24, was caught on now-viral video assaulting an Uber driver after he ended the ride because she was not wearing her mask.

Her attorney said Kimiai pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Kimiai was seen hitting, coughing on and pulling off the Uber driver’s mask. She also took his phone before he was able to get it back.

After turning herself into authorities, Kimiai was charged with attempted robbery, assault on a hire transportation driver, battery on a transportation driver and COVID related health code violation.

Kimiai’s friend, Malaysia King, who was in the car with her and was seen pepper spraying into the car towards the Uber driver, was arrested in Las Vegas.

King, 24, agreed to be transferred in custody to San Francisco to face criminal charges. She was arrested for the following charges: assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy and violation of health and safety code.

Kimiai’s next court date has been set for May 3. She is expected to appear alongside King.

The Uber driver was identified as 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka.

On March 7, Khadka reported he picked up three female passengers at San Bruno Avenue and Felton Street around 12:45 p.m.

A few minutes later, the driver stopped the car and ended the ride because one of the passengers was not wearing a mask. Khadka said he could not continue the ride unless everyone was wearing a mask.

That is when the altercation began — and it was all caught on video.

The three women eventually got out of the car, when King pepper sprayed the driver before the women fled the scene.

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