Uber driver shoots passenger in self-defense

(Bick Bhangoo) #1

An Uber driver picked up Geoffrey C. Ruscher, a 42-year-old man, as a passenger in Sarasota, Florida and started to drive when the passenger became extremely belligerent and even threatening. The Uber driver stopped the car and asked Ruscher to dismount. Ruscher got out of the car on block 4100 on Lockwood Ridge Road a few minutes before 8:30 pm, Thursday night. Witnesses and the driver stated that Ruscher continued to be angry, and started walking along the road in a northbound way when he decided to turn and walk back to the Uber driver, punching him in the face. At this point, the driver took hold of his weapon, which he was licensed to hold and warned Ruscher to back off. Ruscher did not back off and threatened to kill the driver, at which point the driver shot Ruscher in the leg.

Geoffrey C. Ruscher

The Sarasota County deputy responded to the drivers 911 call and arrived in time to arrest Ruscher for simple assault and battery, he was treated in hospital and then taken to Sarasota County jail and is being held on a $620 bond.

The Uber driver was legally holding a weapon and was not charged; witnesses provided evidence that the driver was the one in danger and defended himself. In fact, it seems that Ruscher was so angry that he continued to threaten the driver while a gun was pointed at his face, which strengthened the driver's decision to shoot him.

The only downside to the driver's position is that Uber has a strict deactivation code that comes into action when a driver uses a weapon against a passenger, no matter the reason.

The Uber leak and what you can do to secure yourself

Er yeah. No guns in the car. Pretty clear rule. This wasn’t self defense. You don’t shoot someone for punching you. Proportional response is a basic component of legal self defense.

(Cameron Michaels) #3

Have you never heard of the stand your ground rule? TREYVON Martin?! Dude you are incorrect about Dlorida Law. He was well within his rights to shoot the guy. Uber will deactivate Jim though. You are correct.



Uber sent a notice that we all had to electronically sign that said firearms are prohibited for drivers. He might be justified legally via Florida’s archaic and bizarre criminal codes…but any self defense professional will tell you, legally, proportional response is a basic tenet of self defense law.

In most jurisdictions, you can only use lethal force, which firearms are considered to be (this is why cops don’t shoot to wound), if you can prove you had reason to fear for your life. Many many people have been charged for over using force in an assault. Martial artists, boxers, special forces are particularly likely to encounter this situation in self defense encounters.

The famous case is a 1st gulf war veteran who was a victim of a home invasion. Training and adrenalin meant he took out one guy, then put two rounds into him to make sure he was dead, like he’d been taught. Only…that was ruled excessive force and he went to prison for intentional homicide.

I would argue, morally, that shooting someone for punching you is legalized murder. I don’t want to be assaulted, I’ve been involved in lots of incidents where I was. It’s not fun or okay. But…unless the guy is trying to kill you, trying to kill him is wrong. Further…by adding guns to the equation you create a culture of escalation. I’m mad/crazy/drunk and want to punch you, but you might shoot me, so I’ll just shoot you first. You see it in nightclub shootings all the time.