Innocent man mistaken for suspect in serious crimes jailed for days

Police arrest innocent man who was mistaken for suspect in serious crimes

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A man was arrested at work, in front of his co-workers, only for the charges to be dropped after police said he was misidentified as the suspect. Now, his mother says his life is changed forever.

Channel 9′s Mark Becker spoke to Brenden Eans’ mother, who said her son is quiet and not up to speaking himself. She’s not shy about speaking out for him though because she said everyone agrees that what happened to him was wrong.

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Just nine months ago, there was Eans, an engineering graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, surrounded by proud friends and family members.

(WSOC)

But last weekend, Eans found himself at the Chester County Jail, charged with damaging property at a University City storage facility, assaulting a police officer and leading officers on a chase to get away.

The problem is, police admit they had the wrong guy.

“I found out my son had been arrested Friday evening when his girlfriend called and said he hadn’t come home,” Eans’ mother, Chanel Sapp-Young, said.

She said police should have known her son could not have been involved because the incident at the storage facility happened at 11:50 a.m. Thursday. If they checked, they would have found out he was on the job at a plant in Chester where he is working as an engineer, Sapp-Young said.

Instead, Chester County deputies, armed with warrants from Charlotte, walked into the plant the next day and led Eans out in handcuffs, He was headed to jail, where he would spend the next five days.

“He’s young and he’s never been in any sort of trouble before,” Sapp-Young said.

Finally, on Tuesday, police realized their mistake and contacted a prosecutor, who dismissed the charges due to insufficient evidence. But by then, Sapp-Young said, the damage was done.

“Because now this young man has to live with this for the rest of his life. He has the memory of having to sleep on a jail floor for the rest of his life,” she said.

Sapp-Young said police have apologized to Eans for the mistake. On Thursday afternoon, they sent Channel 9 the following statement:

“The circumstances involving the incident are regrettable. The CMPD Internal Affairs Bureau has launched an investigation to ensure the officers involved in the case followed department policy.”

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