• Uber driver shot, killed man who threatened him, Polk County sheriff says

    By: Kelly Healey


    POLK COUNTY, Fla. - An Uber driver shot and killed a man Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff’s Office officials said.


    Authorities said the man was following and threatening him on Dundee Road, near Carl Floyd and County Road 550 in unincorporated Polk County, deputies said.


    The incident began at Grove Lounge on Highway 27 in Dundee, where a bar patron and a bartender called an Uber for a heavily-intoxicated woman, deputies said.


    A woman helped the drunken woman into the car, investigators said.


    Shortly afterward, the good Samaritan’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jason Boek, 34, called her and thought she was riding in the Uber, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.


    Boek said, “I’m gonna (expletive) up the Uber driver,” according to Judd.


    The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that Boek sent threatening messages to his ex-girlfriend, the good Samaritan, who was still at the lounge.


    Deputies said Boek then drove his Ford F250 pickup truck, shined the lights and pulled up behind the Uber that was carrying the drunken woman.


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    Boek then drove beside the Uber, passes it and then forces the Uber to stop, Judd said.


    According to the Sheriff’s Office, the Uber driver, Robert Westlake, did not know who Boek was. Deputies said Boek jumped out of his truck and said to Westlake, “You know, I got a pistol. You want me to shoot you?”


    Boek then pulled out a black cellphone from his waist, prompting Westlake to shoot, hitting Boek in the chest, the Sheriff’s Office said.


    Dashcam video shows Jason Boek approach an Uber driver
    Dashcam video shows Jason Boek approach an Uber driver
    Jason Boek
    Jason Boek


    Westlake has a license to carry a concealed weapon and he finished the police academy, Judd said.


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    Westlake called 911 and tried to “contain the bleeding and give him CPR,” Judd said in a news conference.

    “The message is clear. Don’t mess with an Uber driver. Leave the Uber driver alone, because he just may be a certified police officer in waiting,” Judd said. “This is a justifiable homicide all day long. You have the right to protect yourself. This is a classic 'stand your ground case.'”


    Boek's criminal history includes previous arrests for aggravated battery, battery, burglary, marijuana possession, forgery, larceny, resisting arrest, and VOP. He was on felony probation for battery, which began in June 2016 and was scheduled to end in June 2021. His driver's license was suspended in May 2018, and the truck he was driving was borrowed from a friend, a news release said.


    Deputies said they obtained a search warrant for the truck Boek was driving and found a marijuana cigarette and a glass pipe containing meth residue.


    The investigation is ongoing.


    Watch Sheriff Grady Judd's news conference below:


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