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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Man Detained in Hawaii for More than 2 Years for Mistaken Identity Sues State

The confusion surrounding Mr Spriestersbach’s identity began in October 2011 when he fell asleep in the stairwell of a high school in Honolulu. The police officer woke him up and asked his name.

According to the lawsuit, Mr Spriestersbach gave his grandfather Castleberry’s last name. When the police entered the name into their database, a warrant was issued against Thomas R. Castleberry. Mr. Castleberry, who is not affiliated with Mr. Spriestersbach and has never met him, apparently left Hawaii in 2009, according to the lawsuit.

“Castleberry” remained on the police computer system as a pseudonym for Mr. Spriestersbach. He was stopped again while asleep in a public park in 2015, but the police released him after taking his fingerprints and finding they did not match Mr. Castleberry’s. However, according to the complaint, the staff did not correct the agency’s records.

On May 11, 2017, Mr. Spriestersbach fell asleep on the sidewalk while waiting for food at a shelter in Honolulu. According to the lawsuit, Mr Spristersbach, who did not have an ID, provided the officers with his full name, date of birth and social security number. Officers arrested him, this time without comparing his fingerprints, the lawsuit said.

At the hospital, Mr Spristersbach protested when he was forced to attend group classes for drug addicts, and staff responded by giving him antipsychotic drugs that made him drool and had difficulty walking, according to the petition and Vedanta Griffith, his sister.

In November 2019, one of his psychiatrists received a birth certificate and realized that Mr Spriestersbach was who he said he was, according to a petition filed in August.

The hospital discharged him on January 17, 2020 with 50 cents, two copies of his birth certificate and other documents. He was then taken back to the same hideout where he was arrested and reunited with his sister after calling his family.

“These people have no heart,” said Ms. Griffith.

World Nation News Desk
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