UPDATE: Pasco County deputies arrested the Uber Eats driver mentioned in this story. She is now accused of making her story up because the man involved didn’t have money to pay her for a ride.
Heidi Schmutz was arrested Thursday and charged with filing a false report. You can find our updated story on her arrest here.
News Channel 8 is not naming the man in this story because he is no longer a suspect.
ORIGINAL STORY: A man is behind bars after a terrifying situation was reported by an Uber Eats driver in Pasco County.
An arrest report says a 31-year-old approached an Uber Eats driver at Denny’s in New Port Richey around 3 a.m. Wednesday. As the woman was loading her car with food, deputies say he approached and started rambling about the food being his.
The woman claimed she told him to leave her alone but, according to the arrest report, he jumped in the passenger side front seat of her car. The woman told deputies he said he had a gun and instructed her to drive. The arrest report says he also took her cell phone and kept touching the woman against her will by grabbing her breasts.
The driver told deputies he gave her instructions to her delivery address when she told him someone would get suspicious if she didn’t make her delivery. When she made the delivery, the woman claimed she tried getting the attention of the customer but couldn’t get help.
After leaving the delivery, the Uber Eats driver claimed she tried to drive south on US-19, but told deputies the man grabbed the wheel and took the car to the Rodeway Inn parking lot.
Once the car was stopped, the woman said she was able to get the attention of a man who helped keep him occupied while she ran away.
The victim later positively identified the man as the suspect. He was arrested and charged with false imprisonment.
- MLS to resume regular season following Florida tournament
- Statewide early voting begins as Florida grapples with virus
- TikTok to file lawsuit against Trump administration over order banning app in US
- Missing Child Alert issued for 16-year-old girl in New Port Richey
- Heat exhaustion vs. heat stroke: How to see the signs