ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — After meeting with his probation officer, a Pensacola man allegedly stabbed a Lyft driver in the back of the head, before hiding from police at a neighboring business, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
River Austin Sewell, 27, was charged with aggravated battery, destroying evidence and burglary.
On Jan. 24, deputies said they responded to a cutting victim. They said when they arrived, they found the victim sitting outside of his vehicle with blood running down his neck. Deputies said they could see a “large laceration” on the back of his neck.
The victim told deputies he picked up a fare at the State Probation and Parole Office on N. Davis Hwy. The victim said he drove Sewell to Fowler Ave., and when they arrived, he felt Sewell hit him in the back of the neck/head area with an unknown object and he began bleeding. He said Sewell then exited the back seat of the vehicle and fled on foot into a trailer.
Sewell’s girlfriend spoke with deputies and told them she was the one who set up the Lyft ride on her phone. She said she arranged the ride for Sewell to meet with his probation officer and then arranged another Lyft to pick him up when he was finished.
When Sewell arrived home, the girlfriend said he was wearing different clothing and he was “acting funny” and told her, “we have to leave.” According to the arrest report, as they both exited the trailer, Sewell jumped the fence onto the neighboring business’ property and the girlfriend began walking south on Fowler Ave., when she noticed law enforcement arriving.
Responding deputies said they went to the business where the business owner was escorting Sewell up to the patrol vehicle at gun point. The business owner said he was told by other employees that law enforcement officers were on their property and a man was seen running into the back fenced-in area of the property. The owner said he went to his personal vehicle, got his firearm and found Sewell in the fenced-in back area of their business, hiding behind a portable toilet. The owner said he then escorted Sewell out to the front of the business where law enforcement officers were.
According to the arrest report, the Lyft driver drove himself to Deluna Health and Rehab where he obtained assistance from other citizens. He was then transported to Sacred Heart Hospital and has since recovered from the alleged stabbing.
Sewell was booked into the Escambia County Jail on a $25,000 bond.