Asian Uber Driver Who Was Assaulted by Nightmare Riders Raises $100K From GoFundMe: ‘It Has Not Been Easy’

Support for Subhakar Khadka has poured in from around the world.
March 16, 2021, 4:24pm
Arna Kimiai coughs on her Nepalese Uber driver, shown on dash cam footage.
Arna Kimiai coughs on her Nepalese Uber driver, Subhakar Khadka, shown on dash cam footage. (Screenshot via Subhakar Khadka) 

A GoFundMe created for Subhakar Khadka, the Nepalese Uber driver who was assaulted and coughed on by his passengers, has collected more than $100,000 in donations. 

Dashcam footage of the March 7 incident in San Francisco went viral last week, showing Khadka’s nightmare riders yelling at him, attacking him, and ripping his mask off after he asked them to wear theirs. 

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But the public has rallied behind Khadka, and a GoFundMe was set up in his name by early Uber investor Cyan Banister to help pay for his living and legal expenses while he is out of work due to the trauma he’s suffered, according to the fundraiser page. 

Khadka addressed his supporters in a video posted by Banister to the GoFundMe Page on Sunday. Sitting in front of a Nepalese flag, Khadka says he plans to use the money to help fund his son’s education and make his parents’ retirement “beautiful.” 

“It was a really unfortunate event last week and it has not been easy ever since, and I hope nobody has to go through that,” Khadka said in the video. “The love, and support, and encouragement from this community and people from all around the world has helped me move forward and believe in humanity and justice.”

The $100,000 raised so far has come from 4,600 donors across the globe, and Khadka said he’s beyond grateful. 

“I would like to take this moment to thank everybody who helped me get this information out to the public so that we can fight this injustice, and inhumanity, and racism,” Khadka said.  

Several of the GoFundMe donors left messages of support and spoke out against anti-Asian hate crimes, which have been on the rise since COVID hit. 

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“I hope you are feeling better. I am so sorry for what happened recently,” wrote one donor. “As an Asian American myself, I was devastated to see the increase in Asian hate crimes. No one deserves to be a victim of such violence.” 

After video of the March 7 attack went viral last week, two of the passengers were quickly identified as Arna Kimiai and Malaysia King. In the dashcam footage, Kimiai can be seen ripping off Khadka’s mask, trying to steal his phone, and calling him a n-----. After she went viral, Kimiai then went on Instagram Live wearing only a pink bra and underwear to tell her side of the story, but the public didn’t want to hear it.

Kimiai and King, both 24, have been arrested in relation to the incident, and both have been charged with battery, conspiracy to commit a crime, and violation of health codes. Kimiai faces an additional charge of robbery, and King faces an additional charge of assault with a caustic chemical after she pepper-sprayed Khadka’s car before walking away. Both women could be sentenced to several years in prison.

Kimiai is currently out on bail, which was set at $75,000.