A woman who went viral after she coughed on an Uber driver has been slapped with multiple charges.
On Wednesday, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office charged 24-year-old Arna Kimiai with attempted robbery and assault on a hired transportation driver – both felonies.
She was also charged with misdemeanor battery on a transportation driver and violation of COVID-19 health order.
If confirmed on all counts, Kimiai could face $3,000 in fines and up to 16 years in state prison.
The now-viral video shows Kimiai deliberately coughing on driver Subhakar Khadka while laughing and yelling racial slurs.
She also tried to grab his phone off the dashboard and the mask off his face.
24-year-old Malaysia King, who is one of Kimiai’s friends, also joined in and said, “I’ve got corona,” before shouting and laughing.
Khadka told the women to exit the vehicle after she repeatedly threatened to assault for ending the ride.
Just when he thought the hellish ride is over, Kimiai took out a pepper spray and tried to spray him through his driver’s side window.
“The behavior seen in the video is appalling. The rider no longer has access to Uber,” an Uber spokesperson said in an interview.
On March 10, Kimiai uploaded an Instagram video in a bid to defend her actions.
“Everybody I know, 75 percent of the people I know, would have smacked the sh*t out of him or done some crazy off the wall sh*t,” she said in the video.
“All I did was take his mask off and cough a little bit, but I don’t even have corona.”
Kimiai turned herself in on the night of March 14 and was booked into the San Francisco County Jail.
“We coordinated her surrender with Sgt. Tony Santos of SFPD so it could be handled peacefully and expeditiously,” Seth Morris, Kimiai’s attorney, said.
“Ms. Kimiai acted appropriately and responsibly when she found out she had a warrant for her arrest, coordinating her peaceful surrender through her legal counsel and the SFPD. We have no further comment at this time.”
Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have banned Kimiai in the aftermath of the incident.