New Mexico Man Gets $70K Settlement In Mistaken ID Arrest

A New Mexico county is paying a $70,000 settlement to a man who was arrested and then jailed for several days after being mistaken for another man with the same name.

Attorney John Day, who represents Anthony Ortiz of Rio Rancho, says a police officer arrested his client in 2009 because a database record on an arrest warrant included Ortiz’s Social Security number.

The warrant was for another man who allegedly failed to appear in court.

The Albuquerque Journal reported the warrant lacked a Social Security number, so a secretary checked other documents to complete the database record. The secretary inserted Ortiz’s Social Security number after finding it on a log of an unrelated 911 call he made years ago when he lived in Santa Fe County.

The newspaper reports the county confirmed the settlement amount but declined to comment on the deal.