Sheriff: Don't mess with the Uber driver

An Uber driver killed a man who threatened to shoot him. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd claims the encounter was a "classic stand your ground case."

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 9:28 PM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 9:44 PM

After a heated text message exchange with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jason Boek followed an Uber he thought was driving her home and swerved in front of it on a dark stretch of road in central Florida early Tuesday morning, police say.

A dash camera video from the Uber shows Boek, 34, jumping out of a pick-up truck and quickly walking to Uber driver Robert Westlake's Hyundai Elantra.

Holding what authorities said was a cell phone, Boek raised his hand and said: "You know I got a pistol? You want me to f****** shooting you?"

Westlake, 38, is a licensed armed security guard who holds a concealed weapons permit and who had just completed training to be a police officer. He fired once, killing Boek early Tuesday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

Neither Westlake nor Boek's family members could be reached for comment on Wednesday. The sheriff's office says Westlake is cooperating with the investigation.

The brief encounter was a "classic stand your ground case," Sheriff Grady Judd said. Florida's "stand your ground" law, perhaps the strongest in the country, grants immunity to the person acting in self-defense. The state has to prove that a shooter didn't act in self-defense and is therefore not entitled to immunity.

"This is a justifiable homicide all day long. You have the right protect yourself," Judd said Wednesday, adding "this was the intent of the law."

"Here's a message for the hotheads of the community: Don't do that stuff," the sheriff said. "Good people carry guns and they will shoot you. A lot. Graveyard dead."

Several high-profile "stand your ground" cases in Florida have sparked controversy over the law, including the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was charged in Martin's death but was eventually acquitted.

Zimmerman did not lean on the "stand our ground law," but claimed self defense. The case cast a spotlight on Florida's stand your ground law and prompted calls to change it.

'He's stalking his girlfriend'

Tuesday's incident started with a case of mistaken identity.

At a bar in Dundee early Tuesday morning, Boek's girlfriend called an Uber for another woman who had too much to drink, and she helped her get out to the car, police said.

Boek saw her and assumed his girlfriend had gotten into the Uber, though she had gone back into the bar, the sheriff said.

Some time afterward, Boek and his girlfriend got into a heated text message exchange.

"The boyfriend is explosive," the sheriff said. "He's stalking his girlfriend. He's angry with her and he tells her 'I'm going to eff up the Uber driver.'"

Judd said Boek drove after the Uber in his truck.

Boek "tailgates him a minute, then he pulls out beside him, rides besides him a couple of seconds .... and then starts to pass him and forces him to a stop in the roadway," Judd said.

About six seconds after Boek jumps out of his pick-up truck, Westlake shoots him, according to the dash cam video released by police.

"Oh my God," Westlake can be heard saying.

'He came towards me'

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Westlake called 911 and tried to save Boek's life.

"He ran me off road, jumped out of his vehicle," Westlake said calmly in the 911 call. "I couldn't get away."

"He came towards me, shouted he's got a pistol, reached for his waistband."

Westlake said he fired one shot from a .40-caliber pistol.

"He dropped a cell phone. I kicked it away," said Westlake, who said he didn't realize it was a cell phone at first.

Westlake told the 911 operator he was applying pressure to the wound, and that Boek was taking faint, shallow breaths.

Boek died at the scene, the sheriff's office said. Judd said authorities did not find a gun other than Westlake's at the scene.

In a statement, Uber said: "We are saddened by this unfortunate incident and will continue to work with police on their investigation."

The company's policy prohibits drivers and passengers from carrying firearms while using the Uber app to the extent permitted by local law.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1490496

Reported Deaths: 20500
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2039162521
Lake1001941500
Allen923541011
Hamilton72207547
St. Joseph64053755
Elkhart48903625
Vanderburgh47506523
Tippecanoe43182336
Johnson37906521
Hendricks35984459
Porter34277466
Madison28722537
Clark25552325
Vigo25251344
LaPorte23269307
Monroe22751244
Howard21818377
Delaware21391366
Hancock18487220
Bartholomew17860213
Kosciusko17769201
Warrick16642213
Wayne16062300
Floyd15640257
Grant15143296
Morgan14245231
Boone13388136
Noble11656140
Dearborn11560112
Henry11546201
Shelby11483150
Marshall11258167
Dubois11123152
Jackson10425104
Cass10121142
DeKalb10101129
Lawrence10082220
Huntington10016139
Gibson9415125
Montgomery9153141
Knox8942124
Harrison8874112
Whitley861871
Steuben8488104
Jasper8192114
Clinton810295
Putnam806199
Miami8032133
Jefferson7773124
Wabash7726139
Ripley7118112
Adams6595101
Daviess6455127
Scott638586
White613282
Greene5999112
Clay597573
Wells5902120
Decatur5885119
Jennings586278
Fayette5735121
Posey543448
LaGrange524197
Randolph5027129
Washington494368
Owen491499
Fountain472479
Spencer446556
Starke438686
Sullivan437465
Fulton431891
Orange420882
Jay409764
Rush403937
Carroll377549
Perry376755
Franklin375850
Vermillion352062
Parke319238
Pike316245
Tipton313774
Blackford271755
Pulaski270874
Newton231561
Brown226754
Benton215721
Crawford215131
Switzerland194214
Martin186722
Warren174821
Union165519
Ohio122616
Unassigned0739

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2439205

Reported Deaths: 31245
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2637212065
Cuyahoga2582743018
Hamilton1696091714
Montgomery1126771604
Summit1074271391
Lucas909371160
Butler80397942
Stark754911400
Lorain63313792
Warren51040475
Mahoning50162915
Lake47051605
Clermont44631429
Delaware39611212
Trumbull38910755
Medina37850419
Licking37593408
Fairfield34482334
Greene32823422
Portage31698360
Clark30769445
Richland28751423
Wood28217297
Allen24942395
Miami23274395
Muskingum22683245
Columbiana22370403
Wayne21565356
Tuscarawas19096427
Erie18282222
Ashtabula18102342
Marion17861232
Scioto17031207
Ross16556252
Pickaway15812178
Hancock15561228
Geauga15320223
Lawrence14172186
Union1359984
Huron13584182
Belmont13554247
Jefferson13090258
Sandusky12933199
Athens12126106
Knox11721198
Seneca11631200
Darke10950198
Ashland10916178
Washington10729168
Auglaize10364142
Crawford10062175
Shelby9961157
Brown9610140
Fulton9453150
Guernsey9304117
Highland9215148
Defiance9209135
Logan9114142
Clinton8950127
Mercer8816111
Madison8730106
Preble8145162
Williams8014135
Putnam7863135
Ottawa7752121
Champaign7696112
Jackson7510117
Perry725998
Coshocton7137136
Morrow706382
Fayette678287
Pike632586
Hardin6311128
Gallia605891
Adams5913124
Van Wert5877121
Henry577093
Hocking5634104
Carroll4877100
Wyandot487590
Holmes4787161
Paulding409064
Meigs380473
Monroe303368
Noble285051
Harrison284461
Morgan280348
Vinton245145
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 10°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
15° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 15°
Huntington
Cloudy
11° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 11°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 10°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
13° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 5°
The colder air is expected to linger into the weekend and there is a small chance of light snow.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events