Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do, when they come for ya?- Inner Circle
The police are essential in keeping in order and protecting civilians but sometimes they make mistakes. Here are the stories of when the police got the wrong person. Some edits were made to the stories to protect people's identities and for clarification purposes.
Arresting A 9 Year Old
“There had been a string of robberies (7 in 2 weeks) in my neighborhood, so everyone was on high alert. I was home by myself, and one of my dogs started puking, so I rushed to let him outside, forgetting my dad had set the alarm. We had a silent alarm, so I had no clue it had been tripped, sending out a dispatch request to the local 5-0.
5 minutes later, there was a knock on the door. I’m young, home alone by myself, and had been told to never answer the door if I was alone. So I didn’t. They kept knocking.
Long story short, they broke the door down because they thought they had caught the burglars. Multiple cars, I vaguely remember there being a K-9 unit involved, and the police had their suspect: a 9 year old girl, crying her eyes out.
I was not the group of thieves, who ended up being caught about a week later.
I remember them being just as confused as I was. But, I did get to be ‘put into custody,’ as it was looked down upon to leave a young child (under 12) by themselves, so they had to talk to my dad before they left. He had gone to work and I was waiting for my mom to get home. So they both came home to cops in their house.”
“I live in a neighborhood in Indy that is going through a major revitalization right now. So it’s very much in a transitional phase. We rent a house from a good friend of ours. He bought the house from some garbage people who had lived there for a long time. These people did, sold, and made illicit narcotics. There was violence, solicitation, everything. In general the house was disgusting- unlivable, really. Just the worst.
Well, the scumbags who lived here still try to use our address even after 5 years. About a year and a half ago one of the dudes used our address to renew his driver’s license at the DMV. He even had the audacity to leave a note for us to call him when the license came in. Fast forward a few months, around Christmas time, we are all sitting around, watching TV when we get a knock on the door.
My husband answers it and it’s a SWAT team with weapons drawn. They see my husband, who does not look like a zonked out crack head, and inside are our 2 little boys, my parents, and me nursing our baby plus the Christmas tree and all the lovely trappings of our home. They immediately put their weapons down and my husband and I have a lovely chat with them. Yeah, they had our house surrounded, fully loaded, the whole shebang, looking for this dude who was wanted on some kind of violent felony. We were ticked at this dude who I refer to as Big Nasty.
Just a couple weeks ago I had another nasty use our address to take out an ESPN magazine subscription. I was livid! Because all he has to do is go online, print off the billing and bam, proof of address. This time I called USPS and local police to open a federal case again him. Plus my landlord is pretty sure he’s using our address to commit benefits fraud as he technically lives with his daughter but they don’t want him counted as an adult who should be drawing an income.”
America’s Most Wanted
“My mom had this happen to her. Basically, it revolves around the show Americas Most Wanted.
A woman who looked almost EXACTLY like my mom was featured on the show. She had the same hair, same face, and the kicker, same name. They even showed my mom’s actual information (which I won’t list here) as being the criminals.
The story ended like every story on that show does. ‘If you have ANY information regarding the whereabouts of this dangerous criminal, please call this number.’
Now onto my mom’s perspective.
She was just sitting at home on a Saturday night alone, as she lived alone. She was reading a Steven King book, when she hears some commotion coming from the hallway. She ignores it. Lots of yelling. She had not seen the show which painted her as a criminal.
Then suddenly, BAM!!! Her door is knocked down in an instant. About 10 cops flood into her 1 bedroom apartment, and she is arrested.
She explained they had the wrong person. They claimed everything matched. Social security matched. DNA matched. Name matched. Photo resemblance matched.
It turns out the woman was basically stealing my mom’s identity, and intentionally making herself look like my mom. The end result is that when they created a profile for the criminal, they used my mom’s information to start with. So when they arrested my mom, of coarse the information matched…..it was her information originally.
They kept her in jail for 2 weeks. It wasn’t until they took fingerprints from the scene of a crime they said she committed, and the prints didn’t match, that they realized she wasn’t the criminal.
It’s scary to think if they had used her profile prints, rather than crime scene prints as the set to compare to, that she would have been still in jail today. It was basically a life sentence.”
“A few years ago, my husband and I were having a lazy Sunday morning, making pancakes, blasting music, having a good time. There’s a really loud banging on the door, and I rush over to answer it, thinking someone must have knocked a couple times before we heard it, and open it up to 4 police officers who push into our kitchen.
Two of them grab my husband and start telling him that he’s being placed under arrest for a hit and run accident that took place in a city almost 2 hours away. Freaking out, my husband explains to the police that he was at work all night, and just got home about an hour before that. He must have been really convincing, because two officers sat at our kitchen table with us, while the other two went outside to call my husband’s workplace to confirm his story.
Turns out, a car that we had sold about a year before that was involved in an accident that hit 3 parked cars, and a woman the night prior (woman had minor injuries, thankfully), but the driver was nowhere to be found. There was a clear video of our old car smashing into parked cars, hitting pedestrian, and a man jumping out of it shortly afterwards. When the police found the abandoned car and ran the VIN, it lead them to our house.
In Ontario when you sell a vehicle, you’re supposed to bring a slip into the Service Ontario Centre to prove that the ownership has transferred, but, it’s not really enforced, and there’s no penalties for not doing it, because the person purchasing the vehicle needs to do the same (to get plates, stickers, insurance etc). Obviously, and stupidly, we did not do this.
Cops came back in, apologized for the mistake, gave us a halfhearted lecture about properly switching ownerships, and left. The idiot that was actually driving the car was caught the next day, an officer called my husband to tell him, and made a joke about us having to pay any impound fees.”
“The first, I got assigned a warrant service to pick up a wanted felon. Mr. Robertson was 6 feet tall, 250 pounds, long red hair, bushy red beard, and lived at, let’s say, 123 Elm St. Pretty distinctive dude.
So I roll up to 123 Elm Street, and sure enough, there mowing his lawn in the front yard is the man himself, 6 foot, 250 pounds, red hair, red beard. I make contact with him, ‘Hey, Mr. Robertson? You got warrants and it’s time to go to jail.’
Hook him up, take him to jail, and in central booking I get his property off him and while filling out the inventory happen to notice this guy is Mr. Robinson, not Robertson.
Sure enough, the wanted guy was my guy’s landlord, and his twin-brother-from-another-mother doppelgänger. When I’d said Robertson, Robinson didn’t even twig to the fact I hadn’t said his name, he just heard the similar sounding name as his own. We had to walk the whole thing back and reactivate the warrant, then kicked him loose with a handshake and an apology.”
“I had just gotten off duty at 2 AM and was driving home still in uniform. There wasn’t any other traffic on the road, so I wasn’t really surprised when a police car turned in behind me and started following me. I figured he was trolling for drivers that were under the influence and I was the only thing moving on the road, so he was just going to follow me a little to observe my driving, and he’d realize pretty quick I was sober and peel off.
Instead another patrol car joined him.
And another. And another.
Then all four lit me up, and spread out behind me, blocking the road in a full felony stop.
Well, this just got interesting.
They went through the whole procedure, and I carefully followed their instructions. When they finally got me out and saw my uniform, they just stopped for a few seconds while I was trying to figure out just what was going on. Then three of the officers got in their cars, turned off their lights, and took off, while the original officer told me I could put my hands down and explained what was going on.
My car was a spot on match for the suspect vehicle in an armed robbery and shooting that had just occurred right up the road. I’d driven right by the scene before the cops even got there a few minutes before the officer in the next district spotted me and thought I was the suspect.
It was an interesting night.”
Jail Time Jackpot
“I’m in a class called ‘wildlife law enforcement’ which is taught by a game warden. They have police powers and can be called in if backup is needed.
My teacher is a great dude and he loves stories. Anyways, my local police force has a way of capturing people with outstanding warrants that may or may not be common. What they do is send a letter to the perp saying they ‘won a prize’ from the city. Apparently, however, the way they deliver this makes it seem very legit. To receive your prize, you have to go to the community center at a certain date and time, then the police get you after you sign in for your prize.
So in my city they set up this and sent a letter to a particular man with a very recognizable name. The day of the ‘prize claiming,’ this very large old man comes in, and is soon fighting against 3 officers in this community center. He fought pretty hard thinking he was being jumped, but of course got cuffed and stuffed in the back of a squad car. The issue? They didn’t check the important detail of AGE. They captured Senior when JR was the one with the warrant. They assumed because of this man’s very recognizable name that there could only be one.”
Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting
“I was on patrol when a call came out for a brown van filled with Asians who had stopped in the middle of the road, bailed out, Kung fu’d each other in a full on karate donnybrook right in the intersection, then piled back in the van and taken off. Other officers made contact with the reporting witness, while I looked for the van.
Ten minutes later, I’d all but given up on it when I saw a white van blow through a stop sign. It obviously wasn’t the van I was looking for, but a gimme ticket is good probable cause to stop and see if the driver is under the influence.
Lo and behold, it was a white van full of wasted Hispanics who all had various injuries pretty obviously from fighting. Further investigation proved that they indeed had all had a big fight in the middle of the intersection in question, but none of them knew karate.
I have no idea how a white van full of inebriated Hispanics turned into a brown van full of kung fu Asians in the witnesses’ eyes, but we got them all anyway.”
“Why Would I Want Someone Else’s Kid?”
“One day I was on the way home and I noticed the police helicopter flying overhead. I lived in a big city at the time so I thought nothing of it until I was blocked in by two police officers…
Someone in an SUV very similar to mine had been trying to lure children at a school nearby, and was considered a dangerous offender due to previous convictions. They thought they had their guy, but all they had that day was a very pregnant and bewildered girl in an SUV with her ice cream.
Then one officer came to my window with his hand on his piece and asked me If I knew anything about someone luring children in my Jeep that day and I looked at him in bewilderment (I have a panic disorder, hopefully that explains my reaction) and blurted out, ‘I have two under five and one right here, why the heck would I want someone else’s kid?!’
Luckily they let me go after telling me what to keep an eye out for, I can laugh about it now.”
“No, That Is Not My Son”
“I was sitting in my apartment, girlfriend was in the shower, I heard knocking on the door and ignored it… heard a knock again, looked out the window, nothing… then came the cop knock. So I get up and open the door, two cops with weapons drawn were hiding behind the door frames, and asked me to put my hands up. I comply. They ask, ‘Are you here with your girlfriend?’ I am super confused but I say yes, because I am.
They storm in and cuff me, about this time the girlfriend comes out of the shower, sees me handcuffed and is understandably ticked.
The whole time I am asking what is going on and saying I think there has been a mistake.
Then the cop points out the door to an old guy and asks, ‘Is this not your dad?’
It wasn’t and I said ‘No, what is going on?’
The cops look at the old guy and he stumbles saying ‘Uhhh. No. No, that is not my son.’
The cops turned white. They were super embarrassed and they left quickly.
A couple hours later one of the cops comes back and apologizes, apparently that old dude got a phone call from his estranged son saying he had a Glock and was going to shoot his girlfriend… don’t know what came of that but it wasn’t me and that dad apparently didn’t even know where his son lived.
Then I went and got some tacos and a couple drinks.”
The Police’s Priority
“I was at my boyfriend’s (we’ll call him B) apartment in Louisiana, which is in kind of a rough neighborhood. We were watching a movie on the couch, and after taking my sleeping pills, fell asleep. At about 1:30am, there’s loud banging on the door, and B gets up to investigate. My pills knock me out pretty hard, so I barely opened my eyes in time see B get yanked out the door and about 9 officers flood the apartment. They start asking me tons of questions and I’m barely coherent at this point.
‘Ma’am, are you okay?’
‘Did you call the police?’
‘How long have you been asleep?’
‘What is your name?’ etc…
From outside the apartment, B tries telling them I fell asleep watching a movie, and they berate him for trying to answer for me. They are patting him down up against the wall outside, and are about to cuff him. They radio dispatch to call back the number that dialed 911, and are searching the apartment listening for it. I hold up my phone and tell them we didn’t call the police, but they won’t listen.
Once I finally was able to get a word in, I ask them what this is all about. It turns out, a woman in apartment 29 was being beaten by her boyfriend and he was dragging her around by her hair, so she called the police. I tell them this is A29, but there’s also B29, C29, and D29. Suddenly they all rush to me and are baffled by this new information. They start yelling, ‘WE’VE GOTTA GO. WE’VE GOTTA GO,’ and suddenly they’re all gone. There’s dents in the door and we didn’t get an apology, but I’m happy with the way they handled the situation. If I had called the police for a domestic abuse case, they made me a priority.”
“One time I was walking out of Walmart with some groceries. As I was on my way to my car, a police helicopter was circling around the parking lot. Over the helicopters PA system they described me and told me to get on the ground. ‘You in the grey shirt, bald head, in the Walmart parking lot, next to the green car, get down on the ground.’
Everyone in the parking lot was just staring at me. I didn’t listen because I just kept thinking I didn’t do anything wrong, they have to be talking to someone else. As I am putting the groceries in my car, I see 6 or 7 police cruisers coming my way through the parking lot, sirens on. At this point, I am just standing there like a deer in headlights. The police officers surrounded me and draw their pieces, shouting at me to get on the ground. I comply.
They pat me down and ask what I was doing at ‘so and so apartment complex.’ I say I was never there, and they check my ID. Right after looking at my ID, I noticed all the officers were kind of confused and weren’t really acting all hard up to me anymore. Then this older guy who looked like a higher ranking officer walks up to me and says, ‘You are free to go, sorry for the misunderstanding.’
I asked what was all this about? He says, ‘Well for lack of a better phrase; WHOOPSIE.’
Then he shook my hand and gave me a hug. We both laughed it off. As I was driving out of the parking lot, all the same police officers and many more had another man arrested on the hood of a police cruiser. He had a bald head like me, grey shirt, and green car. Everything identical.”
A Ridiculous Ride Along
“It was a few years ago, roughly near the end of 2015. Dad (officer) and I were sitting in traffic on our way to get some lunch, he punched in the license plate in front of us and got a hit, the plates did not match the car, so he pulls them over and gets the story. The driver, it turns out, was a guy who apparently was out on a $10k bond. And it was either because of the license plate not being on the right car (he only put it on his good car because he thought it was ok to do since his old one broke) or something else which caused him to be arrested. Either way, he was polite and respectful, as was everyone else involved, the entire ride to the dolly bay was just off though. When we got inside and began processing, his name came up twice, both times with different bonds. Of the two different bonds, one was significantly higher, I’m talking ten times higher.
This was odd for a number of reasons according to pretty much everyone there, the most bizarre is that this person was in the system twice, same name, same address, same image, and same prints. But nearly everything else was wrong, the crime was across the state and not on record, the version with the $100k bond had details such as tattoos that the guy my dad was processing didn’t have, there was also details like scars and jewelry, tones and such which didn’t match. As per protocol, they had to wait until someone from the state police could come and also verify the double entry, In that time the person who was being processed was being held in the station until the state police could sort it out.
I wasn’t there for the rest of the story, but I did get some of the details when I went for another ride-along and had to wait with the administrator. Turns out the guy my dad processed WAS the $100k bond guy, and somewhere down the line a clerk in the courts misfiled the two individuals. I’ll admit that for the longest time, I expected to hear they had someone in the court system get paid to cover up for the $100K bond individual so they could escape. Then again, I was often bored on ride-alongs, stuck in an old crown vic most of the time and bored….still loved it though.”
She Got PAID
“I used to live in Missouri, in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood, alone.
I was asleep in my bed one Thursday morning around 3 am when I hear banging on the door. Thinking it’s one of the local pot heads, I pay it no mind, and then I hear a bang and the front door is off its hinges. I grab the baseball bat I keep by my bed for such occurrences, and go out of my bedroom ready to swing. Next thing I know I’m on the ground, cop’s knee in my back, and his hand on my butt (I’m a woman, wearing only a t-shirt and panties). I said something like, ‘What the F man, where’s the warrant?’
Dude said, ‘Shut up, n-word!’ (I’m not black). I decided to comply because anytime a cop starts yelling racial slurs, your chances of being shot start to rise.
Anyway, cops are tearing my house to the ground, flipped my mattress, tore it open, pulled everything out of my drawers, trashed my kitchen, my cat got out, slit open the couch cushions, etc etc. They didn’t find what they were looking for. Finally somebody shines a light at my very feminine face and says, ‘Oh shoot.’
The cop on my back gets off of me, finally. I again repeat my previous question about what is going on, less politely, with more profanity. I ask again to see a warrant. They produce it and I go to the bedroom to get my glasses and put my pants on.
Warrant is for an address one number off of mine. An address that doesn’t exist.
These IDIOTS executed a warrant on a property that didn’t exist, and used mine because it was the closest thing to it.
This is apparently pretty illegal.
We settled in court and I got out of Missouri and am never going back.
I hate St. Louis cops.”
The Felon Philanderer
“One of my neighbors was a total pants man. He would drive home multiple times during the day to bang his wife and then he started banging their teenage babysitter. The babysitter was 15 and the daughter of a local cop.
When her dad found out, an arrest warrant was issued and the local law enforcement agencies started looking for my neighbor vigorously.
The problem was that the guy worked as a pumper (oilfield lease operator) for a large independent oil company. His company vehicle was a white truck. If you have ever worked in the oilfield, you would realize that everyone drives a white truck.
The cops were pulling over and conducting felony traffic stops on half the trucks in town and the local oilfield came to a halt until the guy was caught.
The company that he worked for was on the other company’s black list for awhile after that.
The neighbor somehow avoided jail for statutory, but did get divorced and was fired from his job. He later was living in a trailer out on an isolated ranch and cooking crank. County sheriff deputies went out to check on him and he unloaded multiple magazines from an AR-15 on them (didn’t hit anything) and somehow avoided jail time for that, too (his parents were rich).
Last I heard he was still living in a trailer in the middle of nowhere cooking crank like a loser.”
“I woke up at 6 am on my day off work to police banging on my door. I was arrested, thrown in a police car and hauled to the station. After finger printing, mug shots and everything, I’m finally told why I was arrested. A detective comes in. Straight off TV. I’m handcuffed to a bench and he starts telling me everything I had done. Paying cell phone and utility bills for my other homes out of my neighbor’s checking accounts. I’ve lived in the same house for 10+ years. No other houses.
I asked the detective if he had bothered to do any detecting before filing felony mail fraud charges against me. And asked if the other officer remember being at my home no less than 2 weeks ago taking a report of stolen mail and checks. The other cop definitely remembered as soon as he saw me. I have never had a speeding ticket much less anything more serious. They got super apologetic and put me back in the cell for the rest of the day until they got the charges dismissed.
Someone had stolen my identity and opened accounts in my name then paid for those accounts with stolen info from other people. I spent a day in jail while they straightened it all out. It’s always fun to tell about the time I did hard time.”