Outside of a rejected Quentin Tarantino script, it was not the way an Uber call should go.
An Uber driver in Palm Coast and Flagler got the request for a ride Wednesday afternoon from the mini storage location at Marvin’s Garden, near the intersection of State Road 100 and Belle Terre Parkway.
The female driver pulled up her Kia by where Betty Jo Halter was standing with a service dog. Halter, 44, immediately approached the passenger side door frantically, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s report, opened the door, and started loading the car with items from the storage unit. The driver told her not to do that. Halter ignored her, kept loading, then opened the front passenger side door, got in and sat down. The driver asked her to take her belongings and leave.
According to the driver, Halter pulled a black handgun out of a pink bag, in contravention of Uber rules (which state that “Uber prohibits riders and their guests, as well as driver and delivery partners, from carrying firearms of any kind while using our app” within applicable laws). Halter pointed the gun at the driver and said: “I’m not afraid to use it, bitch, you can ask Michael.” It is not clear what Michael she was referring to. His name would recur as the incident unfolded.
Halter forced the driver to turn off her phone so she could not be tracked. She allegedly forced the driver to go through many different neighborhoods–looking for “Michael.” She “kept threatening her with the handgun,” the report states, as they drove to different addresses. “Remember what I have,” Halter told the driver as she patted her pink bag.
They reached 2 Eric Place, a 5,000-square-foot house valued at $350,000 and listed as Halter’s residence on her arrest report.
Halter ordered the driver to drive around the back of the house and get out of the car, so the Uber driver wouldn’t drive off. Halter then removed items from the car and placed them on the back porch, had the driver get back into the car and drive to the front of the house, ostensibly to wait for “Michael,” and when a black Lexus pulled up, Halter told the driver to drive off as Halter hid on the passenger floorboard. The man in the black Lexus, apparently, was “Michael.” When the driver told Halter her shift was ending and that Halter should get out of the car, Halter told her: “Your shift ends when I say it does.”
They drove a street over behind the residence. Halter wanted to wait for “Michael” to leave. Halter got out of the car and began pacing. She had not paid her fare. All the while the dog and a make-up bag were still in the vehicle. The driver took them out, put them on the pavement, and drove off, calling 911 as she did so. She said she wanted to pursue charges.
A sheriff’s deputy found Halter at the rear of 2 Eric Place. She’s no stranger to local law enforcement. Exactly two years ago deputies were called to the same house by the man who at the time had been Halter’s ex-boyfriend. Halter, he told authorities, would not move out and had been “getting crazy” to the point that he had to lock himself up in his room. She had kicked his bedroom in and chased him. The day before, deputies had responded to the same house on allegations by Halter that her ex had attacked her–allegations unsupported by what deputies found. She was eventually found guilty on a domestic assault charge and a charge of resisting arrest. She’d faced a domestic battery charge a year before, when she lived on Laguna Forest Trail. It was dropped.
On Wednesday she was likely calling for an Uber ride because her driver’s license was suspended for five years in 2016, following a drunk driving conviction. She’d also faced a drunk biking charge.
On Wednesday following the Uber incident, she was charged with false imprisonment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, both felonies, and has been held at the Flagler County jail without bond since.