An Uber passenger who was filmed coughing at and attacking her driver has pleaded not guilty to assault, despite previously admitting to her aggressive behaviour on Instagram.

Arna Kimiai, 24, was filmed tearing off her mask, coughing, and swearing at driver Subhakar Khadka, 32, before seizing his phone.

She finally handed herself into police days later, as the recording of the incident went viral on social media – racking up millions of views on Twitter alone.

She was then slapped with multiple charges, including attempted robbery and assault on a hired transportation driver, but last week pleaded not guilty to them all, according to local media.

If convicted on all counts, she could face $3,000 in fines and up to 16 years in state prison. She remains free on bail pending a hearing on May 3.

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The clip of the furious encounter, which occurred on March 7, shows Kimiai saying “f*** the mask,” before reaching forward to grab Khadka’s phone and yelling: “What you gonna do?”

She continues to scream and swear at him, while sitting beside her two friends in the back of the car, as he tells her: “You don’t touch my property. You didn’t buy it, I bought it, I worked hard for it.”

WARNING: This video contains offensive language.

Days after police launched an investigation, Kimiai’s lawyer Seth Morris confirmed that she had handed herself in “peacefully” to San Francisco Police of her own volition.

“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,” Morris said in a statement.

Prior to her detainment, Kimiai defended herself in a bizarre selfie video.

Sporting nothing but a pink lace plunge bra and knickers, Kimiai claimed Khadka had forced her to exit the vehicle on a freeway and refused to wait for another Uber to arrive, which she argued was unsafe because it was “in the hood”.

The 24-year-old suggested the driver was “lucky as hell” she didn’t beat him up, adding: “Cause if he would’ve played with me it would’ve been a whole different story.”

She continued: “Everybody I know would have smacked the s*** out of him or done something crazy. All I did was take his mask off and cough a little bit but I don’t even have corona.”

She then admitted that this behaviour was “disrespectful as f***,” adding “I was dead a** wrong for that.”

But rather than apologise, she insisted it “could have been avoided if he’d just waited.”

Her Instagram account has since disappeared, San Francisco news site SFist reports.

Kimiai in the now deleted Instagram video

Fellow rider Malaysia King, also 24, was also arrested for her aggression towards Khadka last month.

In the video, she can also be seen coughing, shouting and laughing at the 32-year-old as he attempts to defend himself against his unruly passengers.

After the camera stopped, King allegedly reached into the window and sprayed what is believed to have been pepper spray into the car.

She was arrested on March 11 on a number of charges for assault with a caustic chemical, assault and battery.

The third woman, who has not been identified, wasn’t charged but Uber confirmed that it had banned all three riders.

Khadka later said in an interview that Kimiai had “started taunting me, cursing me, questioning me about being a man”.

He added: “The ladies were even talking about shooting me, calling their cousins to shoot me. They were making fun of my race."

All this, he said, because he had pulled over and asked all three passengers to wear their masks.

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