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Posted: September 22, 2017

Deputies: Men hold Uber driver at gunpoint; mistake him for burglar

Men Mistake Uber Driver For Burglar And Hold Him At Gunpoint, Deputies Say

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Deputies: Men hold Uber driver at gunpoint; mistake him for burglar
Sheriff's deputies in Palm Beach County, Florida, arrested 36-year-old Dustyn Brandon Jenkins, left, and 41-year-old Micah Paul Mercer, right, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

By Jorge Millian, Palm Beach Post

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. —

Roberto Augustin had just finished making a food delivery for Uber on Saturday night when he became lost inside a neighborhood in unincorporated Delray Beach, Florida.

As Augustin tried to find his way out, he was approached by two armed men riding in a golf cart.

“Get out of the car, or we’re going to kill you,” Augustin heard as his body froze in fear.

The men, pointing handguns at his head, ordered Augustin to get on his knees and put his hands in the air. One of the men then fired a warning shot into the air that Augustin said whizzed past his head.

“I thought it was my last day,” said Augustin, 32.

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According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the gunmen weren’t robbers but a pair of community watch members on patrol. The incident took place just before midnight.

Dustyn Brandon Jenkins, 36, and Micah Paul Mercer, 41, told deputies they saw Augustin driving around the Country Club Acres neighborhood — just west of Military Trail and south of Atlantic Avenue — in a “suspicious manner” and that when they approached him, Augustin became aggressive and charged at them. That caused them to draw their weapons and point them at Augustin, they said.

Jenkins admitted firing a warning shot to keep Augustin from fleeing, the report said.

Augustin told deputies he thought Jenkins and Mercer were out to rob him because neither man was wearing any identification and both were in plain clothes.

Augustin said he has been working as an Uber driver for less than six months and was not familiar with the area. Augustin said he was struggling to find a way out when Jenkins and Mercer came at him.

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The arrest report shows the incident took place in front of Mercer’s home in the 15100 block of Hayes Road. Country Club Acres’ Facebook page describes it as a community of more than 500 single-family homes established in 1958.

“I was so scared,” said Augustin, who is originally from Haiti. “I didn’t know what they were after. I thought I was going to die.”

Jenkins and Mercer are each facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Jenkins is also facing a charge of firing a weapon in public.

Jenkins and Mercer were released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Sunday after posting $3,000 bonds. The men were ordered during a court appearance Sunday not to have any contact either with each other or Augustin or to possess any weapons.


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