Central Florida man arrested after choking Uber driver; steals his car, deputies say

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Brevard man was arrested after he assaulted an Uber driver and attempted to steal his car, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.


According to the arrest report, the sheriff’s office received a call from the driver who said a man choked and kicked him out of his red Jeep.

Deputies said the driver picked up Derek Strang, 33, on Wednesday in Merritt Island around 11:20 p.m.

Strang sat in the back seat of the Jeep, on the passenger side.

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As the driver approached a Chili’s restaurant in Merritt Island, the man slid over to the driver’s side, placed both of his arms around the victim’s throat, and choked him.

The driver, unable to breathe, pulled over to the Chili’s parking lot and was able to get free, exit the car and call 911.

Strang then jumped into the driver’s seat and attempted to drive away but never made it out of the parking lot.

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The driver told deputies that if any doors are open, the breaks will lock and stop after a certain distance.

Investigators said that once Strang was handcuffed, deputies found a pocketknife on him.

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Strang was taken into custody at the Brevard County Jail and charged with carjacking with a firearm or weapon.

Brevard County deputies are still investigating what led to the assault.

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