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Palm Coast Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018 3 months ago

Woman pulls gun on Uber driver, according to deputies

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She forced the driver to drive around looking for someone named Michael.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Over the protestations of her Uber driver, a 44-year-old woman loaded a bunch of items from a storage unit into the Uber driver's car and then got in, pulled a handgun and made the 45-year-old driver drive around various neighborhoods looking for someone named "Michael," according to a a Flagler County Sheriff's Office charging affidavit. 

The 44-year-old then had the driver take her to her house on Eric Place, which was exactly where deputies found her after the driver fled, called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher, "I drive for Uber … and I just had somebody hold me hostage in my car for like two and a half hours with a gun.”

The incident began the afternoon of July 25, when the driver, a Palm Coast woman, accepted a dispatch from Uber to pick up a woman named Betty Jo at 4601 E. State Road 100 in Bunnell.

She arrived and found the woman, 44-year-old Betty Jo Halter, standing with a service dog next to a storage unit.

When the driver pulled up, Halter "approached the passenger side door very frantically and started putting items from the storage unit inside [the driver's] Uber vehicle," according to the charging affidavit.

The driver told her to stop, but Halter ignored her and then got into the front passenger seat.

The driver told her to take her things and get out of the car.

But Halter pulled a black handgun from a pink Coach bag and "then stated, 'I'm not afraid to use it, b----, you can ask Michael' and then stated, 'you're on my time and will do as I say,'" according to the charging affidavits account of the driver's statement.

Halter then made the driver "drive around multiple different neighborhoods, looking for Michael" and told the driver to turn off her phone "so that the route couldn't be tracked," according to the charging affidavit.

Halter continued threatening the driver with the handgun and at one point "threatened her by saying 'remember what I have' and patted the top of her pink Coach purse," according to the affidavit.

When the driver got to a house in the first block of Eric Place in Palm Coast, Halter told the driver to drive around the back of the home and then get out of the car so that the driver wouldn't leave her. Halter removed her things from the car and put them on the home's back porch.

Then she got back into the car and made the driver drive around to the front of the house to wait on Michael.

"Once at the front of the residence, [the driver] stated that a black Lexus pulled into the driveway and [Halter] told [the driver] to drive away and hid in the passenger floorboard," according to the charging affidavit.

The driver protested that it was the end of her shift, again telling Halter to get out of the car.

But Halter replied, "Your shift ends when I say it does," according to the driver's account in the charging affidavit. 

Halter then made the driver drive a street behind the house and "wait for Michael to leave so that [Halter] could retrieve her phone," according to the affidavit.

Halter then got out off the car and started walking around without paying her fare.

"[The driver] observed [Halter's] service dog, porcelain doll, and a make-up bag still in
the vehicle," the charging affidavit states. "In fear for her life, [the driver] exited the vehicle, and took all the items out and placed them on the roadway."

The driver then sped off and called 9-1-1.

When deputies arrived at the Eric Place house where the driver had left Halter — her home address, according to county jail records — Halter "made multiple inconsistent statements about the events that transpired" and talked "in a manner that did not make any sense."

They arrested her. She is charged with false imprisonment and with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. 

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