Woman Who Coughed On Uber Driver Facing Years In Prison After Turning Herself In
| Last updated
The woman who was caught on camera coughing on an Uber driver in San Francisco could be facing years in prison after turning herself in.
The incident took place on 7 March in San Francisco's Bayview neighbourhood, with footage showing a group of women arguing with a driver, before one - 24-year-old Arna Kimiai - coughed on him.
On 14 March, the San Francisco Police Department confirmed that Kimiai was in custody after surrendering to authorities.
According to ABC7, Kimiai now faces charges of first degree robbery, battery on a transit employee, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
While the district attorney's office hasn't commented on what the robbery charge applies to, we do know that Kimiai's bond is set at $75,000 (£54,000).
In a new report, Vice has broken down the charges - saying she could be facing years in prison.
The outlet explains the charge of battery of a transit employee comes with a potential one year in prison and up to $10,000 (£7,000), while the first-degree robbery charge could see her in prison for anything between three and nine years.
Along with that, a sentence for Kimiai's conspiracy to commit a crime charge also holds a potential of one year in prison, and that's before taking into account her violation of California's mask mandate and health codes, which could carry a number of fines.
Lt. Tracy McCray, who heads the San Francisco Police Department's robbery detail, said the 24-year-old's 'callous' behaviour would be met with justice.
Speaking before she had handed herself in, McCray said: "The behaviour captured on video in this incident showed a callous disregard for the safety and wellbeing of an essential service worker in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
"We take this conduct very seriously in San Francisco, and we're committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case."
Another of the women in the video, 24-year-old Malaysia King, has also been arrested on charges of assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery, conspiracy, and violation of health and safety code.
A police statement said the Uber driver had picked up three female passengers at San Bruno Avenue and Felton Street at approximately 12.45pm.
"A few minutes later, the driver stopped the vehicle and ended the ride when he realized that one of the passengers was not wearing a mask in compliance with state and local public health orders for Covid-19," the statement explained.
"The driver said that he could not continue the fare unless all passengers were wearing their masks.
"An altercation ensued, largely captured on video, and one of the passengers reached over the driver from the rear seat area and stole the driver's cellphone.
"The victim grabbed and eventually regained possession of his phone. The suspects then exited the vehicle, and another passenger reached into an open window and sprayed what is believed to be pepper spray into the car towards the driver.
"The suspects fled the scene. SFPD's Robbery Unit took over the investigation and identified two suspects soon after, Ms. Kimiai and Ms. King."