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The lawyers for a woman who faces up to 16 years in prison for coughing on an Uber driver have said that she acted 'appropriately and responsibly' in turning herself into the police for arrest.
24-year-old Arna Kimiai was filmed on the driver's in-car camera taking off her mask to cough on 32-year-old Subhakar Khadka whilst sitting in his car in San Francisco.
The footage quickly went viral, leading her to eventually turn herself into a prison in the area.
She has since been charged with felony assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury against a transit operator and first-degree attempted robbery on a transit operator.
On top of that, she has also received two misdemeanour charges for battery on a transportation driver and a Covid-19 related charge.
After she shot to fame because of the video, she turned herself over to the police and is in San Francisco County Jail.
In a statement obtained by Newsweek, her attorney Seth Morris - of Cooper, Cooper, and 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 in question occurred on Marck 7, when Kimiai and two other women entered Khadka's taxi at about 12:45pm.
After a few minutes, the driver noticed that one of the women hadn't been wearing a mask, which is against Uber's Covid-19 policy.
Then, Kimiai allegedly became aggressive, taking her mask off to shout at the driver. She then coughed at him before leaving the vehicle.
Another of the passengers, 24-year-old Malaysia King, could be heard in the video saying: "I've got corona,"
Kimiai also grabbed the driver's phone and pulled off his mask from his face before the three women fled the scene.
After the fact, she shared an Instagram video defending herself.
In that video, she said: "Everybody I know, 75 percent of the people I know, would have smacked the s*** out of him or done some crazy off the wall s***,
"All I did was take his mask off and cough a little bit but I don't even have corona."
Now, she and her legal team will have to defend her actions in a court of law, rather than on the internet.
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