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Topic: WTF
Submitted By: 1boss
Date Submitted: 03-09-14


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Man Spends 27 Days In Jail In 2 States Due To Police Work, SMH

Our story begins one evening six years ago, when Omar Sullivan opened an envelope from Essex County authorities and slowly read the document inside with rising terror.

He’d had his share of parking tickets and moving violations, but this notice was ordering him to court to answer gun and drug charges. He was so surprised and shaken that he didn’t even finish reading. What gun? What charges?

“I was so damned scared,’’ he said.

Sullivan, then living in Union Township, hustled on down to the courthouse in Newark and found out he was being charged with a series of crimes that had nothing to do with him: possession of a .22-caliber gun, heroin, steroids and 27 vials of cocaine near a school.

When Sullivan checked in at the courthouse and told his story, the sheriff’s department took his fingerprints and soon found they did not match those of the defendant they were seeking. Some guy named Steven Sylvester was apparently using his name, Social Security number, date of birth, information he may have gotten when Sullivan lost his wallet in 2006. So when Sylvester was arrested the authorities thought he was Omar.

The courts acknowledged a grievous error had been made and soon cleared everything up, or so Omar Sullivan thought. Kim Branch, a court service supervisor, gave him a letter explaining the gun and drug charges belonged to Sylvester.

“I thought that was it,’’ said Sullivan. “I thought I was fine.’’

Now let’s go to Jan. 27 of this year.

Omar’s driving in Atlanta, where he’s been living since summer. The police do one of those random scans of his license plate, and up pops a warrant for his arrest on those charges he thought were gone.

Clink, clink.

Sullivan is put behind bars and, since he’s considered a fugitive, he goes to county jail with the big boys who are all facing serious criminal charges. He tries to tell anyone who might listen that he’s innocent — officers, the jail staff, inmates.

“If you brought me a snack, I told you,’’ he said. “If you threw me a towel, I told you; a bar of soap, I told you. … Anybody I possibly could, I told.’’

Sullivan sits in county for 12 days before being extradited back to Essex County.

In the meantime, he said, he loses his job as manager of a storage company. He loses the apartment he’s about to move into, his car gets impounded and his dog dies at a cousin’s house after it stopped eating with him not around.

All the while, on the other end, his mother, Valerie Murphy of Kearny, takes the letter from 2008 and heads to the courthouse in Newark, thinking the mix-up will be solved.

She should have known better.

Suddenly, through yet another error, an investigator in the prosecutor’s office tells her that her son’s fingerprints match Sylvester’s. Murphy said she then calls Branch, who had signed the letter. She couldn’t reach her but says she got a voice mail message from Branch saying it’s out of her hands.

The sheriff’s department, which took his prints in 2008, was unable to clear it up either.
What about the letter from Branch? Apparently useless. By the way, it’s real — we’ve seen it.

Back in Atlanta, Sullivan is handcuffed and put into a paddy wagon on a harum-scarum four-day trip back to Newark that zigzagged its way through several states, dropping off and picking up prisoners in Tennessee, South and North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The ride is brutal, Sullivan says, and the food just as bad. Two cheeseburgers per man from the $1 menu at McDonald’s and a bottle of water every eight hours. And no fries, either.

Surprisingly, though, and maybe naively, Sullivan says he was glad to get back to Newark.

Maybe then authorities could check out his story fully and free him, he thought.
Wrong for the third time.


See Full Story @ ...Man Spends 27 Days In Jail In 2 States Due To Police Work, SMH

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