Duluth police admit that a Florida man was wrongly accused of shoplifting at a Walmart last month.
However, when an officer was attempting to detain him, before it was known that he was the wrong person, the man resisted and punched the cop, leading to a felony charge, police told Channel 2 Action News.
Chiedu Sunday Amahagwu, 42, of Miami, faces both a felony count and misdemeanor count of obstruction for the struggle Sept. 22, Gwinnett County jail records show. Surveillance video of the arrest was obtained by Channel 2.
The video shows Amahagwu leaving the Walmart off Pleasant Hill Road as store security and police officers waited for a shoplifting suspect. Security told police that Amahagwu was their suspect, which is when officers approached him, Channel 2 reported.
Amahagwu resisted, punched the officer and then attempted to run before an officer used his Taser on him, the news station reported. However, security later told police they had pointed out the wrong man and that Amahagwu was not the shoplifter.
Prosecutors learned he wasn’t an alleged shoplifter after he’d spent 10 days in jail without bond, which is when Amahagwu’s attorney, Don Geary, was able to get his client granted bond.
While his client still faces two charges of obstruction, Geary hopes both those charges will be dropped as well, arguing that since the arrest was initially for a crime his client didn’t commit, the incident is moot.
“I don’t see how they prosecute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t,” he said. “He has a constitutional right to resist an unlawful arrest. He didn’t do anything.”
However, Duluth police spokesman Ted Sadowski told the news station that Amahagwu had other options besides punching an officer.
“He could have easily just stopped, talked to the officer, we figure out you’re not the suspect and on you go, but at this point, he turned on the officer,” Sadowski said.
After being in jail for 18 days, Amahagwu posted his $2,950 bond and was released, jail records show.
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