RALEIGH, N.C. — A Raleigh man claims that he recently was stopped at gunpoint by police, handcuffed and questioned and that police soon realized they had the wrong guy.
Mortgage broker Patrick Riley said he and his cousin were driving to a fast-food restaurant Saturday to get lunch for his son when they were stopped by officers looking for two men from an earlier shooting.
Police later arrested three Hispanic men in a burgundy Pontiac. Riley said the description of those men did not match his or his cousin's, or their car.
"You have two black guys in a dark, burgundy RX-7 that looks kind of brown," Riley said. "How could you make a mistake like that, even with your eyes closed?"
According to Capt. Michael Teem, of the Raleigh Police Department, the officers had grounds to investigate "based on the type of call and the limited information they had in terms of vehicle description, with it being in close proximity and the time being so close to when the shots were fired."
Riley said he feared for his life at the time of his arrest.
"I ended up at the top of my subdivision, right at home, on my knees with handcuffs on, being humiliated while my clients and my neighbors walked by," he said, "and the only thing that ran through my mind was: 'I'm about to lose my life right here.'"
Said Teem: "In this case, while it may inconvenience a motorist or somebody who is not involved in the case, we have to stop that vehicle to eliminate it."
Riley said he has hired an attorney. He could file a formal complaint with the police department as early as Tuesday.