Florida Uber driver claims self-defense in fatal shooting
Deputies say that the Uber driver shot and killed with a man that haunt him and threaten.
An Uber driver in Florida fatally shot a man who pulled his car and tried to get him out of the way early Tuesday in a local sheriff, a so-called “classic Stand Your Ground case.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release the incident happened around 2:20 a.m. in the Winter after 34-year-old Jason Book, to believe in his estranged friend was the Uber passenger, aggressively pulled by the car of 38-year-old director Robert Westlake.
“This is a justified murder, all day long,” Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference. “You have the right to protect yourself. This is a classic stand your ground case. This was the intent of the law.”
Earlier in the evening, police said a woman helped a female patron who was drunk in a bar for an Uber ride home. The women did not know each other, but the woman who helped the passenger began to receive threatening text messages from her friend, Book.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd called the shooting of Jason Book a “classic stand your ground.”
Judd said the Book is “explosive” and stalking his girlfriend at the bar and texted her that he was going to aim for the Uber driver and beat him, FOX13 reported.
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In dashcam video released by the sheriff’s office, a truck driven by the Book attracts in addition to Westlake and tries to get him out of the way. After both vehicles were stopped, the Book came out and threatened to shoot the driver, according to the sheriff.
That is at Westlake, a concealed weapon permit holder, who recently graduated from the police academy, fired a shot, striking Book. The Uber driver, the so-called authorities and tried to revive the Book.
The moment that Jason Book, approached Robert Westlake of the car.
(Polk County Sheriff’s Office)
The bar patron was still sitting in the back seat at the time of the shooting and had no relationship to the Book or the woman who helped her for the Uber, Judd said.
“At the end of the day, the message is clear,” he told reporters. “Do not mess with the Uber driver.”
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The book had an extensive criminal history and was on probation until June 2021 for a 2016 felony battery, according to the sheriff’s office. Police found a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue in the truck powered by a Book for the shooting.
Westlake not facing charges in the incident, but the sheriff’s office is continuing to investigate.
A fatal shooting in July, outside a supermarket reignited the debate over Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law, renewing calls by civil rights activists and politicians for the abolition of the controversial articles of association.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed