A south Georgia man is suing the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office alleging they wrongly arrested him at least twice on a warrant for a man with the same name.
Derrick Davis filed the lawsuit, which also names DeKalb County and Sheriff Jeff Mann, Wednesday in the U.S. Northern District of Georgia.
The lawsuit lists only two arrests, but Peterman said his client was arrested or detained “multiple” times because of the mix-up.
“If someone had just looked at the physical description on the warrant, this could’ve been resolved,” Davis’ attorney Jody Peterman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday.
Davis was arrested under suspicion of an active warrant on Feb. 8, 2017 in Mitchell County, where he lived.
The warrant stated the suspect was 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 230 pounds, according to the lawsuit. Davis is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 190 pounds.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, who have not received notice of the lawsuit, said Friday the department would not comment on pending litigation. DeKalb County also does not comment on pending litigation, spokesman Andrew Cauthen said.
Following his February arrest, Davis was booked in the Mitchell County Jail and then moved to the Dekalb County Jail. Mitchell County is located south of Albany near the Florida line.
Davis spent one night in the DeKalb jail before his identity was confirmed and he was released.
Nearly five months later, Davis was arrested again during a traffic stop in Mitchell County on the same DeKalb County warrant.
He was again taken to the Mitchell County Jail.
“He’s got a name that about 2,000 men in Georgia have, but (the arrests) never would end,” his attorney said.
Online DeKalb County court records indicate the warrant issued by DeKalb was for misdemeanor charges in a 2000 case involving a 39-year-old Derrick Davis living in Decatur on Flat Shoals Road. In that case, Derrick Davis faced multiple drug and traffic charges, including marijuana possession and failing to yield at a stop sign.
It is not immediately clear what the status of that case is.
Peterman’s client Derrick Davis is asking for a jury trial and punitive damages.
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