Florida Sheriff Calls Deadly Shooting a ‘Classic Stand Your Ground’ Case

August 30, 2018 Updated: August 30, 2018

A Florida sheriff said the case of an Uber driver who shot a man who was trying to run him off the road is “a classic stand your ground case.”

That’s what Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference on Wednesday, August 29, speaking of the shooting on early Tuesday.

Robert Westlake, 38, was driving the vehicle as an Uber driver. Judd said Jason Boek, 34, thought that his estranged girlfriend was inside of Westlake’s car and was aggressively tailing Westlake.

Video Shows Threat, Shooting

A dashcam video posted to Youtube by the sheriff shows Boek driving erratically and attempting to run Westlake off a central Florida road.

Once both vehicles were stopped, Boek got out of a large pickup truck and threatened to shoot the driver, according to the sheriff.

“You know I got a pistol?” Boek told Westlake, approaching Westlake’s car while holding his cell phone like a gun, reported NBC. “You want me to[expletive] shoot you?”

Unknown to Boek, the Uber driver was a concealed weapon permit holder and a recent police academy graduate.

The sheriff said Westlake then fired one shot, striking Boek. The Uber driver called 911 and attempted to revive Boek but he died shortly thereafter.

“He came towards me, shouting he’s got a pistol reached toward his waistband,” Westlake said on the 911 call, which was made public by the sheriff. “I fired one shot from my pistol. He dropped his cell phone I kicked it away, I didn’t realize it was a cell phone at first.”

Mistake

Authorities said Westlake has cooperated with police. Westlake did not know Boek, nor did the passenger. According to authorities, the passenger, who had been drinking, was escorted into the Uber by Boek’s on-and-off-again girlfriend.

Boek apparently mistakenly believed his estranged girlfriend was in the vehicle, Judd said. Boek threatened to assault both the passenger and the driver, according to text messages released by police.

“The boyfriend is explosive. He’s stalking his girlfriend, he’s angry with her and he tells her ‘I’m going to F [sic] up the Uber driver'” Judd said.

Boek had an extensive criminal history, according to a news release issued by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. He was on probation until June of 2021 for a 2016 felony battery charge. Police found a glass pipe containing methamphetamine residue inside the truck driven by Boek before the shooting.

Stand Your Ground

The “Stand Your Ground” law was enacted by the Florida Legislature in 2005.

“In its simplest form, the statute provides that a person is justified in the use of deadly force and has no duty to retreat,” according to one law firm.

The conditions are that the person standing their ground reasonably believes such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another person, and that “the person acts under and according to the circumstances set forth in Section 776.013 (presuming a reasonable belief as to the necessity of force in the context of ‘dwellings,’ residences, or vehicles).”

“This is a justifiable homicide all day long. You have the right to protect yourself,” Sheriff Judd said. “This is a classic ‘stand your ground’ case.”

“At the end of the day, the message is clear,” he added. “Don’t mess with the Uber driver.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From NTD.tv

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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