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Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019
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Uber driver shoots passenger who was choking him, Clearwater police say

An Uber driver who was being choked by a passenger shot him in the foot Sunday in Clearwater Beach, police said.

Steven Rayow, 74, stopped his vehicle in the 400 block of Mandalay Avenue around 10 p.m. while working for the app-based driver service to pick up a passenger, according to a release from the Clearwater Police Department.

Rayow and passenger Marc Gregory Mermel, 60, began arguing and it turned physical, police said. Mermel choked Rayow, who pulled a gun from his waistband, police said. As the struggle continued, the gun went off and Mermel was hit in the foot, police said.

Mermel was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and treated for his wound.

Rayow has a concealed weapons permit.

Police continue to investigate the case.

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