Jupiter Police arrested Gary Kitchings, an Uber driver, accused of kidnapping and sexual battery of an adult female, Monday
Uber driver Gary Kitchings, 57, reportedly raped a woman he drove home from a music festival in south Florida early Sunday morning
The victim says Kitchings threatened to shoot her if she didn’t perform oral sex on him during the drive, he then forced his way into her home and raped her
The woman saved Kitchings’ information from Uber, which led police to arrest him on Monday
It has since been revealed that Kitchings a retired Navy vet, has been a foster parent for more than two decades
Uber driver Gary Kitchings, 57, was ordered held without bond on Tuesday over allegations he raped a female passenger he drove home from a music festival in south Florida early Sunday
An Uber driver in south Florida has been accused of raping a woman he drove home from a music festival.
According to police, the victim left SunFest in West Palm Beach early Sunday morning around 2am, when she ordered an Uber back to her home in Jupiter.
The Jupiter Police Department arrested Gary Kitchings in connection to the kidnapping and sexual battery of his fare. The incident occurred early Sunday morning.
Police said the Uber driver, Gary Kitchings, 57, a house parent at an all-girls home in suburban West Palm Beach, picked up three women at SunFest around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
After dropping off two other women, the victim was alone and said Kitchings flirted with her and tried to run his hand up her shirt. He even tried to pull her hand onto his penis, but she pulled away.
She said she tried to jump out of the car when they pulled off the freeway, but Kitchings locked the door. Kitchings then kidnapped the woman and told her he would kill her if she did not do what he asked.
According to the arrest report, Kitchings, told her he had a gun and would kill her if she didn’t do what he wanted.
Kitchings then kidnapped the woman and sexually battered her inside of the vehicle, and then again when they arrived at her home.
Kitchings arrives for his arraignment, Monday
That’s when she says he threatened her, saying he had a gun under his seat and he would shoot her if she didn’t perform oral sex on him.
When they reached her home, the victim says she ran out and thought that Kitchings had driven off. But as she opened the front door, he came up behind her and pushed her inside.
When she started to scream, he reached for his waistband and threatened again to kill her ‘and her dogs’ if she didn’t shut up, the arrest affidavit says.
He then reportedly took her to her bedroom where he proceeded to rape her.
Before he left, he allegedly told the victim that if she told anyone about what happened he would return and kill her.
But the victim defied his orders, calling police while hiding inside her closet after he left.
Police were able to track Kitchings down the following day, using information the victim screen-grabbed from the Uber app.
It has since been revealed that Kitchings is a U.S. Navy veteran who served as a petty officer on a ballistic submarine. Since retirement, Kitchings has also been a foster parent for more than two decades.
Three years ago, he gave an interview [above] about a new group home he was moving into operated by the organization Place of Hope
The six-bedroom home was to house Kitchings and his wife, their adopted daughter and six foster children from abusive homes, all of them girls.
Place of Hope officially fired Kitchings on Wednesday, after first placing him on leave. Meanwhile, the The Florida Department of Children and Families is opening an investigation into Kitchings.
Kitchings, his wife and their adopted daughter lived in a group home operated by the faith-based organization Place of Hope, which provides foster homes for children ‘who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect throughout the region’.
A well appointed kitchen at the Place of Hope group home
‘My wife and I, we’ve been house parents for 17 years,’ Kitchings said in the video, obtained by WPTV. ‘So right now the house is occupied by six young ladies. It’s an opportunity for me and my wife to teach them all sorts of different things. Whether that’s following instructions or accepting no.’
In another interview Kitchings gave three years ago, to WPBF he was showing off the lavishly decorated 5,500-square feet new home he was about to move into with his family to care for six foster children, all girls.
‘Kids live up to the quality of their environment,’ Kitchings said in the interview. ‘If they go into a home that’s rundown with holes in the wall, they tend to tear more holes in the wall. But if you demonstrate there are nice things in life, you show them those things are achievable,’ Kitchings said.
At the time the new cottage was opened, the Palm Beach Post reported that six foster girls, ages eight to 17, would be living in the home with the Kitchings family.
After initially placing him on leave from the organization, pending the results of a criminal investigation, Place of Hope changed course on Wednesday – officially firing Kitchings. It’s unclear whether Kitchings’ wife, a breast cancer survivor, will be continued to work with the group and live in a group home.
The Florida Department of Children and Families is also opening an investigation into whether any of Kitchings’ foster children over the years were abused.
Kitchings reportedly also worked with children or as a foster parent in Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania as well. It’s unclear whether those states will also be opening investigations into Kitchings.
A parent who adopted one of Kitchings’ former foster children told the Palm Beach Post that his now 16-year-old daughter was devastated to hear about Kitchings’ arrest.
‘To be fair, my daughter said she had an amazing experience and he was a wonderful foster father to her,’ the man said.
Uber deleted Kitchings from the app immediately after his arrest, calling the allegations ‘deeply disturbing’. He had been a driver for six months, and had no complaints in that time, they said.
Records obtained by the Palm Beach Post show Kitchings also owned and operated a pre-school and senior living center at one point.