Police Spokesman on Arresting the Wrong Suspect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/20/04

Police Spokesman on Arresting the Wrong Suspect

Yesterday, police thought they had their suspect in the case of Jamel Smith, a cabdriver who was shot on duty. The man they arrested after receiving a tip, David Bolton, was the wrong person and has been released.

Police say it was really a case of mistaken identity since the two men really do look a lot alike.

This morning, a chase ended near Ft. Stewart and now police say John Perkins, Jr., is their man. Take a look at these two men. If you didn't know them, could you tell them apart?

"They bear a striking resemblance," said Sgt. Mike Wilson of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.

And that is one of the reasons Bolton was arrested on Wednesday. Tips from CrimeStoppers led police to his Ogeechee Farms home, and then a positive ID from the victim put him behind bars.

Then hours later, police received information from Lowndes County that they may have the wrong suspect. "Witnesses in the Ogeechee Farms community further corroborated the information from Lowndes County, indicating that Mr. Bolton was not responsible for shooting the cabdriver."

So thanks to the two counties working together, he was let go and police tried to explain the mishap. "We make every attempt to explain to the accused why they are arrested and hope they're understanding of our effort to keep violent criminals off the street," said Wilson.

We contacted David Bolton and he didn't want to comment but he did say he was glad they got the right guy.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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