Monroeville police: Clerical error to blame for erroneous DUI charge
Monroeville police said an incorrect digit typed while filing a report is to blame for an Aliquippa man mistakenly being charged with driving under the influence in a recent incident.
“This was an inadvertent clerical error and (it) was immediately corrected upon being made aware of the error,” police Chief Doug Cole said. “The appropriate person will be charged in the near future.”
Cole said the driver’s license numbers of the actual suspect and the Aliquippa man were one digit off, and the error was not detected prior to the paperwork being sent out.
“(It’s) not flying with me,” said Kenneth Thornton, the man erroneously cited with the DUI. “This whole situation, I had nothing to do with or knowledge of. I know enough police officers personally to know that these types of mistakes don’t just happen … I haven’t been to Monroeville in years.
“How my name got mixed up in all this, I don’t know. I have attorneys who are ready to get to the bottom of this.”
Court documents show charges were filed July 23 in connection with a vehicle crash July 10 along the 4400 block of Old William Penn Highway in Monroeville.
A driver wrecked into a telephone pole and was taken to a local hospital.
Cole said the officer involved in the case would be out for a while on military leave, and plans to address the incident with him.
Thornton, founder of the Community Outreach Corporation of Beaver County, said there are other identifiers that should have prevented him being charged.
“If all of my information came up (with the driver’s license number), it would have shown that I was a black male,” Thornton said. “Something’s missing and an explanation is needed. That type of mistake just doesn’t happen.”
Thornton said he’s a bald, African American standing about 6 feet tall and weighing 240 pounds.
He said the description of the actual suspect given by police was a white man with brown hair standing about 6 feet tall and weighing 170 pounds.
Cole acknowledged the physical discrepancies, and again cleared Thornton’s name.
“He is in no way connected with this case at all,” Cole said.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .