A Florida Uber driver and trainee cop will not face charges for shooting and killing a man who threatened him with a pistol on the road and has been congratulated by police for a “perfect” stand your ground case which has divided public opinion.
Robert Westlake, 37, the driver, was taking a drunk woman home from the Grove bar in Winter Haven in the early hours of Tuesday morning when Jason Boek, 34, pulled his pick-up truck up in front of him.
Boek mistakenly thought his girlfriend was in the back of the car. The couple had been fighting and he texted her to say he wanted to “f**** up the Uber driver” after watching the vehicle arrive at the bar where she’d been and where he was watching her.
Dashcam footage taken by a camera in Westlake’s car shows him getting out of the truck and shouting, ‘I’ve got a pistol. Do you want me to shoot you?’ as he approaches the Uber. He was not holding a gun but had his cell phone in his hand.
Westlake, who has just finished police academy training and works as a security guard, did have a weapon. As Boek approached him, he fired one shot which struck him in the chest. He then called 911 and tried to perform CPR on Boek but he died at the scene.
Westlake has a concealed carry permit. Uber drivers are allowed to carry guns so long as they follow local laws. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd described the killing as a “perfect” and “classic” stand your ground case.
At the press conference addressing the incident, Sheriff Judd called Boek a “goofball”.
“This was a justifiable homicide all day long. You have the right to protect yourself. This is a classic stand your ground case. This was the intent of the law.” In a warning to the “hotheads of the community,” he continued, “Good people carry guns and they will shoot you. A lot. Graveyard dead. Leave people alone.”