84ºF

Woman with service dog accused of holding Uber driver at gunpoint

Suspect left her service dog, porcelain doll in Uber, deputies say

photo

BUNNELL, Fla.

 A woman with a service dog was arrested Wednesday after Flagler County deputies said she held an Uber driver hostage at gunpoint.

Betty Jo Halter, 44, is charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment after allegedly holding the female Uber driver at gunpoint and forcing her to drive to multiple locations.

According to arrest records, the victim received and accepted a dispatch from Uber to pick up Halter at a storage unit in Bunnell Wednesday. Upon arriving at the pickup location, the driver told deputies she noticed Halter standing with her service dog. Halter then frantically approached the car and began transporting her belongings from the storage unit into the vehicle, ignoring the driver's requests for her to stop, according to the report.

When the victim asked Halter to take her belongings and exit the vehicle, Halter allegedly pulled a black handgun from her purse, pointing the barrel at the victim and saying, “I’m not afraid to use it [expletive], you can ask Michael."

The driver told our sister station in Orlando she thought she would never see her children again.

"She jumped in and said, 'People are going to kill us' and I'm like, 'Who?' And she would just tell me, 'Just go. You're on my time and you do as I say,' and she had the gun sitting beside me, pointing it."

Records show Halter then forced the victim to turn off her phone so their route couldn’t be tracked, continuing to threaten her with the handgun while they drove through multiple neighborhoods to search for “Michael."

“Remember what I have,” Halter allegedly said, alluding to the gun inside her purse.

Upon arriving at their location, Halter unloaded her belongings on the back porch of the home and instructed the driver to drive to the front to wait on “Michael." According to the victim, a black Lexus pulled into the driveway, and Halter hid in the passenger floorboard and instructed her to drive away. Halter allegedly instructed the victim to drive to a street behind the residence to wait for “Michael” to leave so she could retrieve her phone.

Deputies said Halter exited the vehicle on the road behind the residence without paying the fare, leaving her service dog, a porcelain doll and a makeup bag behind. The victim removed Halter’s items before speeding away and calling 911.