An Uber driver in San Francisco was attacked by three women Sunday after he refused them a ride for not wearing masks, according to police.
Subhakar Khadka, 32, picked up the three women at San Bruno Avenue and Felton Street, and one of the passengers was not wearing a mask, police said. The driver ended the ride a few minutes later at San Bruno and Silver avenues.
The driver's surveillance video, widely circulated on social media, shows the three women then become verbally abusive toward the driver. One of the women reached over the driver’s seat and grabbed the driver’s cellphone, but Khadka was able to get it back, police said. The woman also yanked the driver's mask off, breaking the bands that secure it, the video shows.
"I just truly wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I wanted them to leave my car," Khadka said.
When the women exited the car, one of them reached into an open window and sprayed what was believed to be pepper spray toward the driver, police said. The women then fled.
“I was frightened, scared," Khadka said. "I have never experienced that kind of intimidation in my life."
The community is rallying around him. Without asking, more than $20,000 has been raised for him on GoFundMe for lost wages, and to clean out his car and any legal fees he’ll need.
“I am truly amazed by the support I got. It’s overwhelming, and I really appreciate it,” Khadka said.
The organizer, Cyan Banister, is an early Uber investor who wrote she is appalled at the lack of Uber's response.
Khadka says Uber first offered him $20, then $120.
The company said in a statement, “The info in the GoFundMe is not correct. We have had multiple conversations with the driver to offer our support. The figures they cite are not current.”
Other videos have also surfaced on social media, posted by one of the women believed to have been in the car.
NBC Bay Area reached out to her for comment but has not heard back. Uber and Lyft say she’s banned from using their platforms.
Even though it was an Uber ride, Lyft said, “The unacceptable treatment of the driver in this video compelled us to permanently remove the rider from the Lyft community.”
Khadka said he’s still shaken and can’t watch the video anymore. He hopes the women are arrested.
“I hope they get arrested soon,” he said. “I’ve been in contact with SFPD, and they’ve assured me they’re going to find them soon.”
Anyone with information about the alleged attack should call the SFPD Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.