Man who says he’s never been to Cleveland sues detective, claims he was wrongfully arrested

Published: Dec. 27, 2019 at 4:17 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A man from a Columbus suburb said he received a letter in the mail stating there was a warrant out for his arrest for a crime committed in Cleveland, but there was a problem.

Leon Burroughs claims he never actually stepped foot in Cleveland.

That’s according to a lawsuit filed by Burroughs with the U.S. District Court against the Cleveland Division of Police detective who originally requested the arrest warrant.

According to Burroughs’ attorney, the warrant stems from a May 2019 domestic violence argument.

The victim in the domestic incident knowingly named Burroughs, an apparent stranger, as the suspect, even though he claims he never met the woman nor visited Cleveland.

Burroughs eventually traveled to Cleveland to respond to the arrest warrant. He was detained for 36 hours in the Cuyahoga County Jail until his initial court appearance, according to the lawsuit.

Police and the prosecutor both admitted in court that there was no probable cause for Burroughs’ arrest, the lawsuit states.

Charges were eventually dropped, but Burroughs feels the damage has already been done because his name still appears on online court records.

In response to 19 News, the Cleveland Division of Police said they will not comment on ongoing legal matters.

“The Division of Police does not comment on ongoing litigation, nor does the city.”

Cleveland Division of Police spokeswoman

Burroughs’ attorney does not know how detectives made the connection between the Cleveland crime and the Hilliard, Ohio man, but he believes botched detective work was a factor.

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