Alleged ‘Uber monster’ Arna Kimiai has pleaded not guilty to all charges despite previously admitting to poor conduct in a meandering topless video on her Instagram last month.
According to SFist, Arna Kimiai, 24, and her friend, Malaysia King, 24, were both arrested and charged last month as the monster riders involved in the much-publicized March 7 assault on Uber driver Subhakar Khadka. A third passenger was present but she has not been identified nor charged.
Khadka says he was assaulted by the pair after he requested they put on a mask to reduce the risk of coronavirus.
It ultimately led to the young women becoming belligerent, with video showing Kimiai performatively coughing on Khadka and ripping off his own face mask.
Though she essentially already admitted to the attack and offered a half-apology on Instagram Live, accused Uber driver assault suspect Arna Kimiai entered a not guilty plea to multiple charges on Monday.
Unmasked Uber Cough Monster Arna Kimiai Pleads Not Guilty In Assault on Driver Seen in Viral Video
Alleged Uber monster Arna Kimiai pleaded not guilty last week to felony charges of assault and attempted first-degree robbery, KTLA reported.
She also faces misdemeanor charges of battery on a transit employee and violating a local health ordinance.
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Kimiai remains free on bail pending a May 3 hearing.
She was arrested about a week after the video went viral on social media, having negotiated a surrender with authorities.
Another woman, Malaysia King, was arrested last month in Las Vegas on a warrant from California accusing her of assault with a caustic chemical, conspiracy, assault and battery and a health and safety code violation.
Mask-less passenger caught on camera coughing on, assaulting Bay Area Uber driver pleads not guilty
“We coordinated her surrender with Sgt. Tony Santos of SFPD so it could be handled peacefully and expeditiously,” an attorney for alleged Uber monster passenger Arna Kimiai said in a previous statement.
“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 SFPD. We have no further comment at this time.”
Kimiai pleaded not guilty despite essentially admitting to the assault during an Instagram Live where she appeared wearing only a bra.
Her account on the social media platform has since been deleted.
However, she appeared defiant in her topless video posted to Instagram, saying “all I did take his mask off and cough a little bit but I don’t even have corona.”
‘Uber bully’ who coughed on a driver during mask dispute poses topless on Instagram to defend herself
“I ain’t gonna lie, that was disrespectful as f–k. I was dead ass wrong for that,” Arna Kimiai conceded of the actions that led the internet to brand her an Uber bully and monster.
She also told her followers that she didn’t like using Uber and preferred using Lyft.
Lyft later issued a statement condemning Kimiai’s conduct and banning her permanently.
While she is free on bail, Kimiai has been ordered to check in with a case manager three times a week in the run-up to her next court appearances, CBS San Francisco reported.
She and her codefendant — 24-year-old Malaysia King — were set to return for a Tuesday hearing to set dates in their trial. The judge ordered Kimiai, who is free on bail, to check in with Assertive Case Management three times a week.
Arna Kimiai Enters Not Guilty Plea In San Francisco Attack On Uber Driver Subhakar Khadka