Edmond police arrested an Edmond resident with the same first and last name of a man from Ada who authorities say had an outstanding warrant on which the local man was held in jail for two days.
The identity mix-up came to light this week when a relative of Richard Chad Brown of Edmond called The Edmond Sun to say he was wrongly detained June 7 on the arrest warrant from Pontotoc County.
Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian confirmed his office had issued an arrest warrant on a bogus check charge against a Richard Brown of Ada, not Richard Chad Brown of Edmond.
Police arrested the wrong Brown on the warrant while he was a passenger in a car an Edmond officer had cited the driver for a seat belt violation. Richard Chad Brown was taken to the Oklahoma County Jail, where spokesperson Mark Opgrande confirmed he spent two days locked up.
Both Browns were born the same year (1971), though on dates eight months apart, further complicating the same-name confusion, Sheriff Christian surmized.
The Edmond Sun published a story about the arrest June 11, attributing details to Edmond Police. That caused Norma Fredricks of Edmond, who said she is related to Richard Chad Brown, to notify the newspaper because she said she got nowhere with the police when trying to explain the problem.
“I can understand why there is a lot of animosity with the police these days for going around and doing the things that they do,” said Fredricks. “They said I’m the one that is going to have to clear it up; that I’m the one who is going to have to do all the telephoning and trying to find out this and that.”
Police Sgt. James Hamm, speaking for the Edmond Police Department, said officers are looking into how the mix-up occurred. He said Edmond police only learned about it this week.
“We just found out about it so we’re trying to track down exactly what happened,” he said. “We’ll go back and review everything.”
Efforts by The Edmond Sun to contact the wrongly arrested Brown were unsuccessful.