INNOCENT MAN WHO THREW AWAY HIS OLD LICENSE PLATES FOUND HIMSELF ARRESTED AND WRONGFULLY PROSECUTED
An innocent man, who just happens to be a lawyer by profession, went thru a total nightmare (that isn’t totally over) after he threw away his old Texas license plates at an AutoZone store in Westminster, Colorado. Little did he know when he tossed his old plates in the trash, that simple and normal act would shortly lead to his arrest. Sometimes mistaken identity happens and police and other authorities get caught up in the mistake. But that’s not doesn’t really describe what happened to the innocent man here, Manuel Diego Soza.
ANOTHER MAN PUT THE DISCARDED PLATES ON HIS CAR AND THEN STOLE FROM A WALMART
So what happened? After Soza threw away his old plates in the trash at the AutoZone store, someone took them out and put them on their car. That’s a legal problem already, though not normally for an innocent man like Soza. Because later, the man who took the old, discarded Texas plates stole a speaker from a Walmart store. And that’s where things took several wrong turns with local authorities, leading to Soza being wrongfully arrested and then also prosecuted. It seems that the Westminster police and prosecutor’s office need to have some basic remedial training to do their jobs correctly. And legally.
INNOCENT MAN SOZA DOESN’T EVEN LOOK LIKE THE ACTUAL THIEF, AND DRIVES A TOTALLY DIFFERENT CAR
So why do I say that? Well for one, Soza and the actual suspect don’t look alike. The suspect also has a neck tattoo and Soza doesn’t. And there’s also the little detail that they have two total different model cars. In other words, police hunted Soza down and arrested him just based on the license plate. The fact that he didn’t look like the actual thief and drove a totally different car didn’t dissuade Westminster police from arresting him, an innocent man. And then the local prosecutors decided to pursue charges against him as well!
Soza had hire an attorney of his own and pay $6,000 in legal fees to get them to drop the case. But now he could lose out on job opportunities as a lawyer himself as he will have to disclose his (wrongful) arrest to apply for a law license anywhere else. Soza, as he should be, is considering filing a lawsuit to try to remedy the situation.