A Florida nurse was arrested after she allegedly bit and tried to choke an Uber driver from behind, while he was driving in an unprovoked attack. According to police, Michael Hassey Jr., 22, was driving his car when Michele Stilwell, 55, his passenger, sank her teeth into his neck and tried to almost choke him to death.
Stilwell was reportedly in a drunken state and had fallen asleep before she woke up and attacked Hassey. She was arrested on Saturday and has been charged with aggravated battery for the assault in St. Petersburg, according to a Pinellas County arrest affidavit.
According to Hassey, Stilwell fell asleep in his car while he was driving, but then suddenly woke up and lunged at him. She reached forward from the back passenger-side seat and wrapped both of her hands around his neck, according to a police report.
Hassey tried to pull over, but Stilwell then crawled into the front of the car "and then bite him deeply on the neck drawing blood," according to the affidavit. After deeply scratching Hassey, Stilwell allegedly "continued to bite, strangle and claw at the victim who was unable to defend himself as he was being attacked from behind," said the document, which notes bystanders then helped to pull the driver free.
Stilwell's neighbors told the Florida TV news station WFLA8 that the attack was out of character for their neighbor. In Pinellas County Sheriff's Office's report, the arresting officers checked a box indicating she was under the influence of alcohol and didn't have control over herself. However, they didn't elaborate further.
Police later arrested Stilwell on Saturday. Hassey had picked Stilwell up from Cask Social Kitchen in Tampa, after being called by a group of younger women who said she was their mother. Initially, he though Stilwell to be unwell as she was asleep for most of the ride to her home in St. Petersburg.
However, she suddenly "sprouted up" and attacked while screaming, "My daughter." And then she started screaming curse words at Hassey started hitting him. She even slapped him on his face. "She then sinks into my neck like a pitbull, shaking her head and stuff," Hassey told the outlet.
Hassey even tried to call the police but Stilwell snatched the phone from his hand threw it away. Hassey said that he didn't fight back as he didn't want to hit a woman. However, in the process he got seriously wounded. "I let it happen. I didn't put my hands back on her because I have two sisters and I was raised to never put my hands on a female," Hassey said.
Hassey was finally saved by some bystanders, who heard him crying for help. He also described the event as 'emotionally traumatizing', and said he was seeking a psychologist. A Uber spokesperson said, "What's been described is disturbing. Violence of any kind is not tolerated on the Uber app, and we immediately removed the rider's access as soon as this was reported to us."