In a series of unfortunate events, Robert Westlake, an Uber driver, fatally shot a man that was stalking the customer in Westlake’s car, whom he mistakenly believed was his ex-girlfriend. In the end, the stalker was dead, and Westlake carries the weight of survivor’s guilt.
In what is being called a “classic stand your ground case,” it appears no charges will be filed against Westlake. As the town sheriff said “This is a justifiable homicide all day long. You have the right to protect yourself. This was the intent of the law.” Westlake’s Uber app has been suspended, pending formal clearing by the police department.
“You Want Me to F****** Shoot You?”
Those were the last words Jason Boek spoke before he was fatally shot by an armed Uber driver.
In the midnight hours outside a Florida bar, an Uber driver picked up a drunk woman who was helped to the car by a kind woman, a stranger to her. But the kind woman’s volatile ex-boyfriend, Jason Boek, was also at the bar and believed his ex-girlfriend had gotten into the car. Boek called her cell phone, and she said that she was still in the bar, and explained the Uber situation.
But Boek didn’t believe her. He hopped in his pickup truck, ran down the Uber Hyundai Elantra, tailed it, and then as seen on the Uber dash cam, blocked the Uber by pulling in front of it on a two-lane road, and aggressively charged the car. Boek had a cell phone in his right hand but held it like a pistol, and asked the Uber driver “You want me to f****** shoot you?!” Westlake is carrying a pistol of his own, for which he has a permit to do. He shoots Boek in the chest at close range. When the man drops, Westlake begins CPR, but it is too late. Boek died at the scene.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law
Stand your ground laws allow use of deadly force if a person believes he or she is in imminent danger or death without having to retreat or resort to other methods of non-deadly defense first. Florida is unique in that it provides immunity to an arrest, rather than having to use stand your ground as a defense at trial. This is why Westlake wasn’t arrested for the shooting, and clearly won’t be charged at a later day. This is in contrast to another recent Florida case in which Michael Drejka shot and killed Markeis McGlockton, claimed stand your ground and was not arrested, but was later charged with manslaughter.
In this case, Westlake believed he was in imminent danger, since Boek had been acting aggressively and in a way that one might reasonably believe he would shoot Westlake. Westlake had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and appears to have been totally within his legal rights in Florida to shoot and kill Boek. As a side note, unbeknownst to Westlake, Boek was on felony probation for battery, and his driver’s license had been suspended. No gun was found on Boek or in his truck.
“It’s a New Day in the State of Florida”
Westlake admits he feels for the loss of Boek’s family, and is saddened by the thought of everything he gets to do during his days that Boek does not. Clearly, Westlake is a victim of this ordeal as well, and feels some regret. Sheriff Judd, on the other hand, feels no remorse for Boek. “Here’s a message for the hotheads of the community: don’t do that stuff,” Judd said. “Good people carry guns. And they will shoot you a lot. Graveyard dead. Leave people alone. It’s a new day in the state of Florida and the United States.”
If you believe that you have a justifiable defense to any criminal proceeding you are involved in, contact a local criminal defense attorney, who can listen to the facts of your case, and help you clear your name.
- Find a Criminal Defense Attorney Near You (FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory)
- No ‘Stand Your Ground’ for Black Women? (FindLaw Blotter)
- State Hate Crime Laws (FindLaw Blotter)