'That's Why I Take Lyft,' Says Woman Before Being Banned by Lyft Following Attack on Uber Driver

The woman was banned by Uber after assaulting and coughing on an Uber driver in a video that has gone viral on social media.

Ride-hailing service Lyft has permanently banned a woman who was caught on camera assaulting and coughing on an Uber driver who refused her and her friends service in San Francisco for not wearing masks, the company announced on Tuesday.

It all kicked off after Uber driver Subhakar Khadka picked up the woman and two other passengers in Bayview on Sunday, as previously reported. Shortly after they sat in the vehicle, he realized that one of them did not have a face mask on, prompting Khadka to pull over at a gas station and ask them to either wear a face mask or exit his vehicle as he would have to cancel their ride.

Uber passenger
Stills from the video that is being circulated on social media. Instagram

The women refused to leave the vehicle and then started berating the driver using profanities before the woman in question intentionally coughs on the driver. At one point, the same woman lunges forward and grabs the driver's cellphone before ripping off his face mask.

After video footage of the incident went viral, an Uber spokesperson announced that the passenger in the video had been banned from the ride-sharing platform.

'That's Why I Take Lyft'

Uber Karen
The woman seen assaulting the driver in the viral video. Instagram

In a series of videos posted on an Instagram account associated with the woman from the backseat of the vehicle, she claimed she was being "kidnapped." In a profanity-laced Instagram live video, she later continued to blame the driver for ending her ride and demanding that her group leave his vehicle.

She also threatened to sue Uber for banning her from their platform and said she prefers to use Lyft's ride-sharing service instead. "That's why I take Lyft," she says in the video, shared on Twitter by another user.

Lyft replied to the video saying that the passenger had been "permanently removed" from their platform over her "unacceptable" treatment of the Uber driver.

"Although this incident did not involve the Lyft platform, the unacceptable treatment of the driver in this video compelled us to permanently remove the rider from the Lyft community. Driving in a pandemic is not easy. Please wear a mask, respect one another, and be a good person."