Man trying to climb into moving car shot by Lyft driver

Driver says he is physically OK but mentally shaken up

By Erik Avanier - Reporter
Background: Getty Images/file

Clay County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Matthew Caudill

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - An armed Lyft driver shot a man who was trying to climb into his moving car early Monday morning, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

The Jacksonville ride-share driver told deputies he had just dropped off a client on County Road 218 about 5:30 a.m. when he spotted a dog next to the road that appeared to need help. The driver said that he was searching on his cellphone for where to take the animal when a man that deputies later identified as Matthew Caudill ran up to the passenger side of his car and started yelling.

The driver told deputies he was scared and started driving off, but Caudill grabbed the partially open window and began running with the car. The Sheriff's Office report said that as the driver accelerated, Caudill grabbed the rack on top of the car and tried pulling himself onto the roof. At one point, according to the report, Caudill climbed through the window feet first while sitting in the window. 

The driver told News4Jax that Caudill started kicking him, so he pulled out a gun and fired at him. Caudill was struck in the leg and eventually fell from the window onto the highway. 

After Caudill hit the ground, the driver called 911. Clay County Fire-Rescue took the man to the Orange Park Medical Center. Caudil was arrested after he was medically cleared to leave the hospital.

Caudill, 32, of Middleburg, was charged with assault and battery during a burglary. He is in jail awaiting a bond hearing.

Deputies said Caudill was uncooperative. 

The driver told News4Jax he was physically OK but mentally shaken up by what happened. 

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