Jawon Johnson, 18, was arrested last week in Havre de Grace, Maryland for making an illegal turn.
He was kept for three nights in the Harford County Detention Center because he was mistaken for Jawan Johnson, whom police are looking for in connection to a burglary, reported CBS Baltimore (video below).
Jawon was put in jail on a federal warrant after police did not believe the evidence that showed they had locked up the wrong man.
“They arrested me and took me back to the station and showed me a picture of who the guy actually was,” Jawon told The Baltimore Sun. “It wasn’t me, but they said they still had to hold me until the marshals came and got me.”
Amazingly, Jawon knew Deputy Marshal David Lutz, who took him to federal court in Baltimore to confirm the mistaken arrest and imprisonment.
“He’s an upstanding young citizen,” said Marshal Lutz. “Even if we trust the person or believe their story, you have to treat everybody the same.”
True to his word, Marshal Lutz forced Jawon to ride in handcuffs.
Eventually, when Jawon made it to court, it turned out that it was not necessary for him to appear.
“I just felt like he was thrown in shark infested waters,” Jawon's mother Juanita Johnson told WJZ.
“When you have similar photos, name and date of birth, the stars looked aligned,” Havre de Grace Police Department spokesperson Jeff Gilpin told The Baltimore Sun. “We honestly thought everything was on the up and up.”