Mesa PD: Uber driver kidnapped at gunpoint by business owner

Posted at 12:43 PM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 22:09:52-04

A Mesa business owner took an Uber driver on a wild ride. 

Court records show that after midnight on September 6, a man forced his Uber driver at gunpoint to drive him around Mesa even firing a shot behind his head.

Mesa police report that 40-year-old Richard Allen Beyer Jr. ordered an Uber driver to pick up him and a friend at a Scottsdale bar. He told the driver to take him to a home in Scottsdale where he went inside and retrieved some keys and a silver 9MM handgun. 

Beyer then allegedly pointed the gun at his head saying he was with the Mafia and would, "blow his head off" if he didn't "drive well."

Beyer forced the victim to drive them to his body shop business near Horne and Southern Avenues. While going southbound on the Loop 101, Beyer reportedly opened the rear window and fired a shot asking the driver "How he liked that."

When they got to the body shop Beyer, the driver and Beyer's friend went inside the business. Beyer showed him the cars he was refurbishing.

He then forced the driver to take them to his other body shop near Greenfield Road and Main Street. When the driver missed the turn, Beyer allegedly threatened again to shoot the driver. When they got to the body shop Beyer again wanted the driver to go inside the business, this time, the driver asked if he could smoke a cigarette first. Beyer agreed, and the driver used that opportunity to drive away. 

Police located Beyer still in the business and arrested him.

Police say they found a spent 9MM shell casing in the back seat of the victims' car.

Beyer has been charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault.

A spokesperson for Uber said the driver reported the incident to them that same night.

"We're relieved and grateful the driver is OK and safe," the company said in an emailed statement, adding that the suspect had been banned from using the app in the future.