Boca police: Man robbed Uber driver, threatened to infect him with HIV

Matthew Steven Francis

Matthew Steven Francis

A 30-year-old man armed with a syringe threatened to infect an Uber driver with HIV, then stole his wallet, cellphone and car keys late Friday, Boca Raton police say.

Matthew Steven Francis remains in the Palm Beach County Jail as of Tuesday morning on charges of robbery, kidnapping and criminal transmission of HIV — although it isn’t clear whether the virus was transmitted.

The Uber driver stopped at a 7-Eleven on Palmetto Park Road just before midnight at the request of a rider, according to the arrest report. While the rider was in 7-Eleven, Francis jumped into the Uber driver’s vehicle and held up a syringe, police say.

Francis allegedly threatened to infect the driver with HIV if he didn’t comply with his orders. He then ordered the man to drive to east of the 7-Eleven and forced him to hand over his wallet, cellphone and car keys, the report says.

Francis fled the area on foot. Police later found him based the description given by the Uber driver.

Francis was “sweating profusely” and told officers he was running from a dog because he was scared, the report says.

Officers searched Francis and found the victim’s wallet and the syringe.

Francis told police he had used heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth throughout the day before the robbery, according to the report.

Francis faced a judge for a bond hearing Sunday morning. Bond was set at $60,000.

 

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