Sarasota Uber driver shoots passenger in self-defense — passenger arrested

Lee’s note: This just in from the Sarasota County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man for Assault and Battery Causing Bodily Harm after he attacked an Uber driver who subsequently shot him in self-defense Thursday night.

Deputies responded to the 4100 block of Lockwood Ridge Road in Sarasota just before 8:30 p.m. when an Uber driver made a 911 call to report he shot a man who attacked him. The man, identified as Geoffrey C. Ruscher, DOB 09/30/75, was a customer of the driver who stopped on Lockwood Ridge Road and asked him to exit the vehicle multiple times after he became belligerent. Ruscher eventually got out and began walking northbound but returned making threats to the victim and walking towards him in an aggressive manner. The victim armed himself with his firearm and attempted to push Ruscher away several times, but was punched in the face. In an act of self-defense, the victim pointed his firearm at Ruscher and again warned him to back up while also distancing himself. Ruscher refused to back down and continued to make threats to the victim’s life stating, “I will kill you.” The victim shot one round into Ruscher’s leg, neutralizing the threat, and called 911. Witnesses confirmed Ruscher as the aggressor and detectives determined the victim was in imminent fear of his life.

Ruscher was cleared from the hospital and transported to the Sarasota County Jail.  He is charged with Simple Assault and Battery. He is held on $620 bond. The victim, who was lawfully carrying his firearm, will not face any charges and detectives returned his firearm after the investigation was complete.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

6 Comments

  1. The armed citizen wasn’t charged, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts that Uber will fire him, just like the female Uber last month who shot someone who was attempting to sexually assault her. They would much rather their drivers be victimized than for them to be able to defend themselves.

  2. Kudos to the driver for defending himself legally. Since the police found him to have acted in lawful self defense and returned his gun I have no doubt that his actions were proper. My problem is that this isn’t made clear in the telling of the story. When the passenger was walking away was the Uber driver in or very near his vehicle or standing a distance away from it? Too far away to just get back in and drive off? Was this a case of disparity of force, requiring the driver to use his gun? Did the aggressor arm himself with some object? Again, I’m not doubting that this was a good shoot, I just can’t tell what took place from this narrative. As a person who lawfully carries I need to know more about how this went down for my own education.

  3. Joel raises reasonable questions. I find it reasonable to believe the investigating police considered them all in the course of their efforts on this case.

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