Uber Driver Shoots Man in Self Defense

NEWS RELEASE 17-243 - NOVEMBER 17, 2017

Ruscher, Geoffrey

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 North 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.