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Arna Kimiai Acted ‘Responsibly’ by Surrendering to Police Over Uber Attack, Lawyer Says

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A woman who was charged with assault after coughing on an Uber driver acted “appropriately and responsibly” by surrendering to police, her lawyer has said.

Arna Kimiai was filmed by the in-vehicle camera taking off her mask and coughing on Subhakar Khadka, 32, in San Francisco—and the footage quickly went viral.

She has been charged with two felonies: assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury against a transit operator and first-degree attempted robbery on a transit operator. She is also charged with misdemeanor battery on a transportation driver and violation of a COVID-19 health order.

Kimiai turned herself in and was booked into San Francisco County Jail.

In a statement supplied to The Liberty Buzz, her attorney Seth Morris, of Bay Area law firm Cooper, Cooper & Morris, said: “Arna Kimiai turned herself in at the women’s jail in San Francisco (jail #2) at approximately 7:00pm Sunday night.

“We coordinated her surrender with Sgt. Tony Santos of SFPD so it could be handled peacefully and expeditiously.

“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 San Francisco Police Department.

“We have no further comment at this time.”

The incident occurred when Khadka picked up Kimiai and two other women on March 7 at around 12:45 p.m. A few minutes into the journey, he noticed one of the passengers was not wearing a face mask, in contravention of Uber’s COVID-19 policies. Both passengers and driver are required to wear face coverings.

A woman now identified as Kimiai was shown shouting at Khadka after he stopped the car. She then took off her mask and began coughing on him.

Malaysia King, 24, one of the passengers, said in the video, “I’ve got corona,” before shouting and laughing.

Kimiai was then shown grabbing Khadka’s phone from his dashboard and pulling his mask from his face.

The three women were told to exit his vehicle and then fled.

Both Uber and Lyft have now banned Kimiai from using their service.

In an Instagram video posted on March 10, Kimiai defended 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.”

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