Early Tuesday morning , a case of mistaken identity mixed with road rage proved fatal in Winter Haven, Florida.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, motorist Jason Boek was fatally shot by Uber driver Robert Westlake, after Boek followed Westlake, tried to run him off the road, and threatened to shoot him.
According to a news release, a woman who had too much to drink (Jasmine, say cops) called for an Uber to drive her home from the Grove Lounge bar located on U.S. 27 in Dundee. A female patron who did not know the drunk woman walked her out to the waiting car.
Westlake, 38, drove up in a Hyundai Elantra, picked up the passenger and headed westbound on Dundee Road.
As per the report, the woman who assisted the Uber passenger began receiving text messages from Boek, who was her on-again, off-again boyfriend.
Boek, driving a Ford truck, mistakenly thought his girlfriend (Jessica) had gotten into the Hyundai and told her in a jealous fit of rage that he was going to pursue the car and beat up the driver.
As per the sheriff’s office, Boek made good on his threat: He got into his Ford F-250 and began to “aggressively” approach the Hyundai from behind, then abruptly pass and pull in front of it.
Dashcam footage from Westlake’s car shows how the violent confrontation went down.
The Ford brakes in front of the Hyundai; Boek exits the vehicle toward the Uber holding a shiny object (later reported to be his cellphone).
“I say something?” asks Westlake.
Boek answers, “You know I got a pistol? You want me to f---ing shoot you?”
Then you hear the sound of Westlake, the Uber driver, shooting Boek once in the chest.
“Oh my God,” says a female.
Westlake then groans, “Oh my God.”
According to police, Westlake is a licensed armed security guard and a concealed weapon permit holder. He later told deputies that he believed Boek was trying to run him off the road. When Boek stopped in front of him, forcing him to stop on the road, Westlake reached into the pocket of the driver door and retrieved his handgun.
“After Boek was shot, Westlake called 911 and began life-saving measures,” read the police report. “He continues to cooperate with law enforcement in this investigation. He does not know Boek, and the Uber passenger does not know him either.”
The sheriff’s office goes on to say Boek has a criminal history that includes previous arrests for aggravated battery, battery, burglary, marijuana possession, forgery, larceny, resisting arrest and violation of probation.
At the time of his death, Boek, a former barber, 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 does not belong to him – he borrowed it from a friend.
“Deputies obtained a search warrant for the truck Boek was driving and recovered a marijuana cigarette, and a glass pipe containing meth residue.”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd gave a briefing on Wednesday morning about the ongoing shooting death investigation.
“Neither Jasmine nor Jessica nor the Uber driver know each other,” he said, calling the crime “a terrible mistake.”
Grady adds that “this is a justifiable homicide all-day long. You have the right to protect yourself. This is a classic stand-your-ground case. Classic. This was the intent of the law.”
He added that Westlake had a very short time to make a “life-or-death” decision.
“Leave people alone. They may have a gun and shoot you,” advised the sheriff.