Arna Kimiai coughs on her Nepalese Uber driver, shown on dash cam footage. (Video courtesy of Uber driver)
Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.The Uber rider from hell who was caught on video coughing on her driver and pulling off his mask in San Francisco has finally turned herself in.Arna Kimiai, 24, who attacked her Nepalese Uber driver, Subhakar Khadka, on March 7 after he asked her to wear a mask, has been at-large for more than a week. She communicated through lawyers that she intended to turn herself to the San Francisco Police on March 11. Finally, that’s happened, according to a police statement. Kimiai is facing charges of battery of a transit employee, first-degree robbery, and conspiracy to commit a crime, in addition to breaking COVID mandates.
“The behavior captured on video in this incident showed a callous disregard for the safety and wellbeing of an essential service worker in the midst of a deadly pandemic,” Tracy McCray, head of the San Francisco police department’s robbery detail, said in a statement to VICE News on Friday.In total, Kimiai is facing up to 20 years in prison. 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.That’s not to mention her violation of California’s statewide mask mandate and health codes, which say an individual must wear a mask in all public settings where a high risk of exposure is present. Those could carry numerous fines. Kimiai’s bond is set at $75,000, according to ABC7. It’s not entirely clear what the robbery charge applies to, but the district attorney’s office wouldn’t comment further.
In dashcam footage of the incident, Kimiai is seen hitting and attacking Khadka after he asks her and two other passengers to wear their masks. She then coughs on him, tries to take his phone, calls him a n-----, and yells “Fuck the masks!” Another passenger in the car, Malaysia King, 24, also begins to violently cough on Khadka and yells “And I got corona!” in the video footage.King was arrested in Las Vegas on March 9 after she was caught using a fake ID to try to access a bank account in a local Bank of America. In relation to the Uber incident, King faces charges of assault with a caustic chemical, battery, and conspiracy to commit a crime, in addition to violating health codes, according to police.A day after video of the attack went viral, Kimiai went on Instagram Live, wearing a pink bra and underwear, to explain her side of the story. Kimiai didn’t apologize and justified her actions by saying that “75 percent” of the people she knows would have acted the same way. She also implied that Khadka got off easy. “He lucky as hell I ain’t have nothing on me—cause if we would’ve played with me, bruh, it would’ve been a whole different story,” Kimiai says on the live video.This isn’t the first time Kimiai has exhibited reckless behavior. A video has surfaced of the woman recording herself going 122 miles an hour in a McClaren, with one hand on the wheel, and the other holding her phone. At times she looks to the side or at her mirror instead of at the road.“This shit is getting too colossal,” she says after hitting top speed.