Portage pays $9K to man mistakenly arrested

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) – The City of Portage has agreed to pay a man $9,000 for a crime he couldn’t have committed, and sat in jail for a week before it was resolved.

The payment is part of a settlement with Steve Brown who had sued the city last year over his 2012 arrest.

It was July 2012 when two men stole perfume from the JC Penny Store at the Crossroads Mall in Portage. Police say they showed Brown’s picture to a security guard who identified him as one of the crooks.

Police couldn’t find Brown. That’s because he was in the Kalamazoo County Jail serving time for a probation violation connected to a previous theft conviction.

Brown was released in October and was picked up two weeks later for the JC Penny theft. Brown was in the Kalamazoo County Jail for a week while he tried to convince authorities he couldn’t have committed the crime.

State police records show three months after he was released from jail on the mistaken charge, he was arrested for separate retail frauds in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties. He pleaded guilty in both cases and was sentenced to nearly a month in jail.

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