So far I've tried to get everyone up to date with my current situation via this blog. However, I had to leave a lot of things out in order to get this far in the story this quickly. Now it's time to start filling in some of the blanks, starting with this post.
I knew from talking to the State Attorney's Office that I needed to file a report with the Miami-Dade Police Department. I was able to do this over the phone, so I was able to take care of this right away. The other thing they told me I had to do was file a report in person so they could verify that I wasn't the criminal that committed the crimes. This meant I needed to visit the local police department which I was somewhat reluctant to do given my recent experiences with the police.
I'd already scoured the Internet for information about the other AKA's that were listed on my record. One with the first name of "Makenton" stood out because it was a fairly uncommon name. The other reason it stood out was that the last known address I could find for Makenton was in Rahway, NJ. In 1989 and 1990 I went to school at DeVry Tech and the off-campus housing that they put me in was in Avenel, NJ, right on the border of Rahway, NJ.
I began to wonder if he knew someone at the school and was able to get my information there. Or maybe he or someone he knew moved into my old apartment and got mail directed to me after my mail stopped being forwarded to my next address. I'm still wondering these things because I still don't know how he got my information.
One night I was hanging out with some friends and we had the idea to check the Florida Department of Corrections website to see if they had any information. Sure enough, they had a record of him complete with a photo. Then I went on to check out the New Jersey Department of Corrections website. Bingo, another hit with a more recent photo. He was in prison in New Jersey for two counts of aggravated assault and attempting to cause serious bodily injury. The crimes had been committed in June of 1996. He was taken into custody on December 23, 2003. He'd been on the run for seven and a half years.
Prior to looking the the NJ DOC website I hadn't known about the assault charges. It put some things into perspective. The police officer from the bank grilling me about where I'd lived prior to my current address... I'd told him that I had moved down from New Jersey--and it just happened to be that I moved down from New Jersey not long after the assaults had been committed. No wonder he thought I was a criminal.
With the print-outs of the DOC information on Makenton AKA me, I finally felt I could walk into the local police station to file my report. I still notified a friend that I was on my way to file the report, just in case I didn't return.
After explaining my problem at the local police station I had to wait about an hour for a police officer to arrive to take my report. There were a couple people talking in the lobby, so the officer had me step outside with him to take the report. I asked him to run my driver's license through the computer in his car to see what would come up. After a couple moments a screen full of information popped up, and the audio on the computer said "WARRANT."
Looking at the screen, the first words out of the officer's mouth were "Man, this guy's a real piece of shit." He then told me that if I hadn't brought proof that it wasn't me we would have been taking a ride downtown. The county jail is located downtown, so in this case "downtown" isn't just a euphemism.
He said that the warrant probably was no longer in the JSO's computer, and that was why the JSO officer didn't arrest me. After all, the guy was already in prison, so the warrant was no longer valid. Unfortunately, not everyone has the updated information even though he had been in prison for over three years.
Next post: Why don't they just fix the error?