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Woman arrested in alleged assault of Uber driver who asked passenger to wear mask

   March 13, 2021 12:50 AM
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by Elisha Fieldstadt

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One woman has been arrested and another has agreed to turn herself in after they assaulted a San Francisco Uber driver who asked one of them to put on a mask during their ride, police say.

Malaysia King, 24, was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy and violation of health and safety code, according to a statement from the San Francisco Police Department.

Another suspect, 24-year-old Arna Kimiai, had not been arrested as of Friday morning, a police spokesman said. Her lawyer told police Thursday that she intended to turn herself in, according to the statement.

The San Francisco Police Department previously said that a 32-year-old Uber driver had picked up three passengers Sunday in the city's Portola neighborhood, but ended their ride when one declined to wear a face mask, violating Uber's policy and California's statewide mask mandate.

The driver, Subhakar Khadka, 32, told NBC News that he told one of the passengers that he would have to stop the ride if she didn't have a mask to put on. He said he offered to bring them to a gas station so the passenger could buy a mask.

But in the time it took to get to the gas station, the passenger threatened him, saying she could call family members "to take care of me," Khadka said. Feeling intimidated, he said he asked the passengers to get out of the car. But he said they refused, prompting Khadka to turn on the dashcam in his car.

After the passengers refused to leave, he decided to bring them back to their pickup location, Khadka said. While they were on the way, Khadka said they were arguing about the mask, the passengers weren't wearing seatbelts, and one had opened a car door. So he said he stopped the car again.

"Luckily, my camera worked ... it recorded audio, it recorded a video of the whole scene," Khadka said.

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