A young father missed a portion of his son’s life and lost both his job and his car because he spent 53 days in jail. He was absent for several holidays and his son’s birthday simply because of the careless performance of Hapeville police. The man sued the city and officer who falsely arrested him.
His story began in the summer of last year when the victim met a man on Facebook who offered her a job, and they agreed to meet behind a credit union. Her kids sat in the back of her car as the man threatened her at gunpoint instead, making her withdraw $500.00. She left the scene with her children without further issue.
Afterward, she contacted police and provided them with her robber’s name, Facebook and Instagram accounts, car make and tag, and his description. Nearly two months later, a Hapeville police detective got a warrant for the young father’s arrest, charging him with armed robbery and cruelty to children. The victim did not see the father’s photo for verification, although the officer told the court that she did, so the young father remained behind bars.
The police also botched some key evidence. The young father’s car did not match the make or tag number described by the victim. He did, however, share some traits with the alleged robber: he’s African-American and wears his hair in dreadlocks.
The victim, upon finally seeing his photograph, informed the police that the young father didn’t rob her. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution states that she then identified the suspect in a lineup. The court dismissed the charges and freed the man from jail.
As yet another result of his mistreatment, he was unable to return to his former job because of the felony charge on his record. He even refrained from telling his son about his incarceration, believing that the account would be difficult for the four-year-old to comprehend.