Man claims county kept him behind bars for too long after mistaking identity


ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) –  A man is suing the county, claiming a case of mistaken identity kept him behind bars for too long. And he said it’s not the first time.

He was supposed to serve a 30 day sentence, but according to a lawsuit, Donald Waddles was kept at the Metropolitan Detention Center for an extra four days.

“We’re not talking about an afternoon, an extra day, we’re talking about four days,” said Attorney, Thomas Grover.

His attorney, Grover, said Waddles was sent to MDC in 2014 for a probation violation after failing a drug test.

“He’s had some bumps in his life,” said Grover. “He’s far from a perfect person, primarily substance abuse issues.”

But when his 30 days were up, Grover said he wasn’t released.

The lawsuit said MDC thought he was a different man named Curtis Holmes. It said no one believed Waddles when he said otherwise.

“There’s pretty distinct differences between the two fellows,” said Grover.

But Grover said the worst part of it all is this has happened before.

“Unfortunately, it was under the same circumstances,” said Grover. “This other guy, Curtis Holmes, had used his identity.”

The lawsuit said it was in 2007 when an Albuquerque police officer arrested Waddles, thinking he was Holmes. It said he then spent 18 days in jail.

Grover said MDC and the county ended up settling with Waddles for the mistake.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the county and MDC about the latest accusations and was told they don’t comment on pending lawsuits. KRQE News 13 then asked the county if it had settled with Waddles in the past and for a comment, but did not hear back.

“Just indifference,” said Grover.

According to the lawsuit, Holmes is two inches shorter and more than 40 pounds lighter than Waddles. It said Holmes also has tattoos, while Waddles does not.

The lawsuit said Holmes gives out many fake names, not just Waddles. He also has a lengthy criminal history, including burglary and possession.

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