My “I’m Not the Guy” Cases

“Court Case Friday”

“I’m Not the Guy” Cases

When defendants are arrested, they are often booked and released, and given a date to appear in court.  When they fail to appear, I issue a warrant for their arrest.

Sometimes, the police arrest the wrong person.

When that person is brought to my court in-custody, and he says, “I’m not the guy,” I try to resolve that issue on the spot.  About 70% of my prisoners are being truthful, and 30% are not.

Resolving the ID Issue in Court

Al Capone

If I have a booking photo, I compare it with the person standing in front of me. It is often obvious whether the person is, or is not, the one originally booked for the crime.  Occasionally, I can’t be certain either way.

If I have a booking physical description, I compare, the race, height, weight, hair color, scars, and tattoos with the person in court.  Sometimes, the differences are clear.  

If I only  have a booking signature, I have the defendant sign his name five times on five separate pieces of paper and I do an amateur signature comparison.  I chuckle to myself when the signatures of the “I’m not the guy” are identical to the booking signature.

If I only have booking fingerprints, I have my bailiff roll the person’s prints in court, and I do an amateur comparison. Sometimes, the differences or similarities stand out   enough that I can make a determination.

My Favorite “I’m not the guy” Case

In had a prisoner in my court arrested on one of my warrants.  He was adamant, “I’m not the guy!”

As I was reading the physical description on the booking sheet, I said:  

Judge:It says here that you have a large eagle tattoo on your left forearm.”

Defendant:I don’t have a left arm!”

I looked up, and sure enough, he didn’t have a left arm.

Judge:Well, unless you chewed off your arm like a coyote getting out of a trap, you are obviously not the person arrested and booked for this crime.  You are ordered released.”

“I’m going to give you a court document of my findings, and I recommend you carry it in your wallet, just in case another officer wants to arrest you for this same case.”


Famous Booking Mugshots

OJ Simpson, Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s