NewsPinellas County


Deputies: Florida man attacks Uber driver with knife, tries stealing truck but couldn't drive it

Uber driver picked the man up from a bar
Posted at 7:56 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 01:46:18-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Pinellas County deputies arrested a Clearwater man for attacking an Uber driver on Sunday.

Andres Perez drives for Uber. He said he picked up a couple at a bar to give them a ride home.

According to an arrest report, James Donald Naylor pulled out a knife from his pocket and put the blade to the victim's throat.

"The gentleman that's sitting behind me says 'pull over, pull over' so I think he's about to get sick like he's about to get sick in my car so I pull over into a parking lot," said Uber driver Andres Perez.

Perez said he told the suspect he needed to park his truck.

"So he takes the knife off of my neck and then I quickly grab my phone, open the door and run out the door so then he follows me," said Perez.

According to an arrest report, Naylor lunged at the victim with a knife in an effort to stab him. Perez said he was able to kick the knife away, but the suspect grabbed another knife from his pocket.

"He kind of stumbled and when he stumbled, I kicked the knife out of his hand. The knife fell in the middle of the street and then I kicked the knife," said Perez.

Deputies said Naylor tried to steal the victim's truck, but could not figure out how to drive it.

"He goes into my truck and tried to drive it, but he can't drive it for some reason. It's a newer truck so it's different shifting mechanism," said Perez.

Deputies said the suspect ran away and was later arrested.

According to an arrest report, Naylor said a knife may or may not have been involved, but he did not remember the situation.

Naylor faces several charges including carjacking with a knife and aggravated assault with a knife.

An arrest report said Naylor was on felony probation at the time of his arrest.

"I was trying to take him home and he pulled a knife on me. I was just trying to help him out," said Perez. "I'm happy I'm alive and you know life is short."