WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — An Uber driver was "1,000 percent" in the right in shooting a man who threatened to beat him up, mistaking that his girlfriend was in the car.
"This is a classic stand your ground case," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "Here's a message for the hotheads of the community: Don't do that stuff. ... Good people carry guns and they will shoot you, a lot."
The incident happened just before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday on Dundee Road near Carl Floyd Road and County Road 550.
A woman requested an Uber to drive her home from the Grove Lounge in Dundee. She had way too much to drink, said Judd, and it was noticed by a bartender and another woman at the bar.
The patron helped to take the woman out to the car when it arrived. Robert Westlake, a 38-year-old from Lake Wales, picked her up and began the journey to take her home.
In the meantime, the woman who helped the passenger get to the car started receiving texts from her on-again, off-again boyfriend, 34-year-old Jason Boek. He thought she had gotten into the Uber and he said he'd go beat up the driver.
Boek apparently was watching: He saw his girlfriend walk to the car and thought she got inside, Judd said.
As Westlake took the woman home, a Ford F-250 truck cut him off, forcing him to pull over to the side of the road. Boek got out of the truck and approached the Uber. It all was caught on dashcam video, with Boek yelling at Westlake and claiming he had a pistol.
"That was a terrible mistake on Jason's part," Judd said. "The Uber driver not only happens to be [licensed to carry] ... but he just finished the police academy. So he understands the law."
Westlake fired one shot into Boek's chest. He called 911 and tried to save Boek's life but was not successful. Westlake told the 911 dispatcher Boek dropped a cellphone after being shot, which Westlake had believed was a weapon.
Boek has a previous criminal record, including arrests for battery, burglary, marijuana possession, resisting arrest and more, according to a news release. His driver's license was suspended in May and the truck he was driving belonged to a friend, it states.
The passenger in Westlake's vehicle was not hurt. Judd said she was too intoxicated to remember what had happened.
10News reporter Josh Sidorowicz contributed to this report.
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