Case of mistaken identity leads to federal lawsuit

Created: 12/20/2013 6:58 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A man filed a civil rights lawsuit against an Albuquerque police officer claiming he was the victim of wrongful arrest.

According to court records, Michael Pritchard said the officer stopped him in mid-August on Interstate 25 near Montano “on the basis of an outstanding warrant for a person of the same name.”

The lawsuit indicates the warrant is  eight years old and is tied to a Michael Pritchard, who is 44.

The Michael Pritchard who filed the case is 23.

Pritchard also claims that the officer planned to cite him for having an expired registration although the registration paperwork showed that it was current and valid.

Pritchard was unable to comment on the case on Friday, but his attorney Ray Twohig said that his client repeatedly told the officer that he was the wrong Michael Pritchard.

Twowig said that Pritchard lost his job as a result of the ordeal, was unable to find an equivalent one in New Mexico, and moved to North Carolina to find a new one and be closer to his mother.

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