Florida man arrested for pulling AR-15 rifle on Uber driver dropping off daughter

The father defended his reaction, saying ‘everybody knows what’s going on in this country with fentanyl and child trafficking and rape’

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 09 May 2024 23:00 BST
Florida Father Speaks Out In Uber Driver Gun Case Involving Daughter

A father in Florida has been arrested for brandishing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at an Uber driver who dropped off his 13-year-old daughter, according to Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Department.

Sean Hollonbeck, 54, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping related to the incident, according to a police report.

On 4 May, just before 11pm, an Uber driver pulled up to Mr Hollonbeck's Garcon Point home to drop his daughter off, Fox 35 Orlando reports. The daughter was reportedly still in the car when her father emerged from his house and approached with his AR-15 in hand.

Mr Hollonbeck allegedly forced the Uber driver out of his car and ordered him to the ground, according to the report.

The daughter told deputies her father was "acting crazy" and yelling while he waved his rifle around.

Deputies allege that Mr Hollonbeck pointed his rifle at the driver's face and screamed at him to leave his car while his daughter ran into his house.

Sean Hollonbeck, 54, of Santa Rosa County, Florida, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping after he held an Uber driver against his will with an AR-15 (Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office)

The police report noted that Mr Hollonbeck's daughter had friends over at the time of the incident. The friends witnessed the incident and gave statements to the deputies.

Mr Hollonbeck allegedly demanded the driver produce his license, and took photos of the identification before he allowed him to leave the property.

When police arrived to question him about the incident, Mr Hollonbeck admitted to deputies that he was "afraid for his daughter's safety and didn't know who she was with or that she had left without permission."

He was taken into custody and was booked into the Santa Rosa County jail. He later posted bond, according to jail records.

Mr Hollonbeck, a retired US Army colonel, runs a nonprofit called "The War Horse Project" that connects individuals — primarily veterans — suffering from trauma with therapy horses, according to WEAR in Florida.

He told the broadcaster that he will likely have to sell some of his assets to pay for his legal defence. Mr Hollonbeck also said he was fired on Tuesday.

Mr Hollonbeck told the outlet that his daughter had snuck out and took an Uber to Pensacola, Florida, leaving him worried at home.

“That vehicle was completely unmarked,” Mr Hollonbeck said. “I had no idea that, in my mind, this was not good, and everybody knows what’s going on in this country with fentanyl and child trafficking and rape. Terrible stuff.”

He said after he discovered his daughter snuck out, he called law enforcement for help, and argued that his actions were justified under his “parental rights”.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson reportedly told Mr Hollonbeck that he was being "overprotective" and told him to get his facts straight before he brandishes a weapon in the future.

“Obviously you’re talking about a young girl being out late at night,” Mr Johnson said on Monday. “If it’s my daughter, I’d be worried as well. But it’s important to get all the facts that you can get prior to engaging somebody.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in