Freshman WR spent 4 days of holiday break locked up over mistaken identity
NOV 28, 2013 9:15a ET
A freshman wide receiver for West Virginia State spent four days of his Thanksgiving break in federal custody over a case of mistaken identity, Baltimore news outlets reported this week.
Jawon Johnson was arrested after being pulled over for a traffic violation because police said there was a federal warrant out for a man with an almost identical name and the same birth date. Even when it was established that Johnson was not the man with the warrant, the other guy's first name is Jawan, it took three days for him to be released.
"They arrested me and took me back to the station and showed me a picture of who the guy actually was," Johnson told The Sun. "It wasn't me, but they said they still had to hold me until the marshals came and got me."
David Lutz, a deputy marshal and friend of the family, transported Johnson from Havre de Grace to Baltimore. Even though he knew Jawon, he had to keep him handcuffed the whole time.
"He's an upstanding young citizen," Lutz told The Sun. But he added: "Even if we trust the person or believe their story, you have to treat everybody the same."
When Johnson finally was released, his family was there to greet him.
"As long as I'm out, I'm perfectly fine," he said. "I'm happy to see my family. I just want to enjoy the rest of my vacation at home."