A North Carolina Central University college student spent a month in jail for calling the police to report a crime. Next time, he says, he will know better than to do the right thing.
Lewis James Little, 20, was with friends last June when they found the dead body of 25-year-old Michael Lee lying in the middle of the street.
"I called the police – when none of the other guys were even thinking about it – trying to do the right thing, and it pretty much started from there," Lewis told WRAL.
What started was what Lewis describes as a “dream.” In just twenty minutes, Lewis was handcuffed and carted off to jail on $1.42 million bond and charged with burglary, kidnapping, and other crimes. A home near the scene had been broken into, and it seems that Lewis vaguely matched the description of the suspect.
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"You can assume a lot just from looking at my face and dreads. I was in basketball shorts and flip flops," Little said. "Something like that happening to them – I can kind of understand that maybe they would jump to conclusions."
A witness in the home that had been burgled identified Little as one of the perpetrators—a conclusion that wasn’t supported by other statements to police.
So Little sat in jail.
"You can do good your whole life and like that, [you're in jail under] a million-dollar bond," he said. "It was kind of like a dream. I kept waking up, like, 'I can't believe I'm in here.' I kind of felt defeated."
Finally, on July 15, Little was told “sorry” and allowed to leave. But his mug shots are still online for all to see.
"I feel ashamed about it, because I don't want to be known as that," he said. "It's up there, and there's no taking it back."
While Little realizes he “suffered” from doing the right thing, he says he’s moving on with his life.
"Holding onto the anger every day doesn't get you anywhere, so most definitely, I'm mad, but I still have other stuff going on," Lewis said. "So, I have to balance that, and keep moving forward."