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City of Lodi settles case of mistaken identity

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Posted: Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:00 am

A Lodi man whose face was incorrectly featured in an ad for an attempted murder suspect has settled with the city for $5,000.

Rosendo Alfaro Perez's lawsuit is still awaiting a judge's dismissal but attorneys for both sides said this week that they agreed to the settlement in late September.

Perez's photo was published Feb. 13, 2008, in a Crime Stoppers ad placed in the Lodi News-Sentinel. However, police were searching for a man with a different middle name of Ruelas, not Alfaro.

Perez was terrified that he would be arrested and jailed, said his attorney, Gil Somera. Friends and acquaintances don't always know one another's middle names, so Perez also faced ridicule and a damaged reputation.

Perez went to an attorney, who contacted the city and approved a correction that subsequently ran in the newspaper.

Then Perez filed a claim against the city in August 2008, seeking damages in excess of $10,000. City employees rejected the claim, and Perez then filed suit in March, seeking $600,000.

Perez never wanted that much money, Somera said Friday, adding that the dollar amount was a typo in the initial lawsuit.

"This was more of a matter of, 'Hey, something went wrong; let's sit down and talk about it and make sure it doesn't happen again,'" Somera said.

He and Deputy City Attorney Janice Magdich discussed the case more than once, and Somera said he and his client are satisfied that nobody else will be incorrectly labeled as a suspect.

The settlement of $5,000 includes Perez's legal fees.

Police are still searching for the attempted murder suspect, who is accused of shooting his ex-wife's boyfriend in the back on Dec. 2, 2007. Lodi police believe that suspect has fled the area.

Contact reporter Layla Bohm at layla@lodinews.com.

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  • posted at 6:33 pm on Sun, Nov 1, 2009.


    Geez, galtguy, another post bashing the editor.

  • posted at 11:16 am on Sun, Nov 1, 2009.


    So Rich, just mentioning the fact that Mr. Perez obviously has had dealings with LPD in the past is too much for you?You're like an Umpire, the less we notice you the better.



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