Stolen car mixup had man fearing for his life

Stolen car mixup had man fearing for his life

BROOKLYN, OH (WOIO) - A police mixup had a man fearing for his life when officers pulled him over with guns drawn, all over a simple clerical error.

"He puts me on the ground like this. He puts my hands behind my back," Michael Houser said.

Houser is a a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of Cuyahoga County executive Armond Buddish.

He said he was driving home when Brooklyn Police pulled him over with guns drawn in the 4800 block of Ridge Road.

"It had to be seven, eight cop cars there. They all had their guns drawn on me. They told me to get out the car with my hands up," Houser said.

Houser said he did exactly what police told him to do. He said he was handcuffed. The ordeal lasted more than ten minutes. He was confused and didn't understand why police were questioning him.

"Once they ran my plates they say the VIN to my plates saying my car is stolen. I say well that's impossible cause my car is not stolen," Houser said.

"He said Cleveland Police entered it wrong and that was the reason why they stopped me," Houser said.

According to the Brooklyn Police report the stolen car was a black Econoline van taken in an aggravated robbery involving a gun. Houser's car is white.

A Brooklyn officer called the Cleveland Police report center who confirmed someone in the department entered the wrong vehicle as stolen.

"I know my friends told me about their experiences with police but I never thought I would personally experience it," Houser said.

It's not clear in the police report why Houser was initially questioned. He said even if he "had" done something wrong, police should have handled the situation differently.

"They need to change their protocol. Someone needs to investigate or look into it and hopefully something changes," Houser said.

Houser called Cleveland Police himself after the incident and they confirmed his car was not considered stolen. We have reached out to Cleveland Police and city officials for an explanation on how this happened.

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