Man says mug shot mix-up ruining reputation

October 19, 2011 6:40:00 AM PDT
A man who used to live in New York says the NYPD has ruined his reputation.

Police released the man's photo as a suspect in a rash of burglaries in Manhattan.

They had the suspect's name right, but they released the wrong photo.

"You just go online, type in Irving Walker, Chinatown, and boom, there's my mug shot," said Irving Walker, a wrongly accused man.

It's a mug shot that's caused nothing but trouble.

According to Irving Walker it's trouble that started back in November after a string of burglaries in Chinatown, and on the Lower East Side.

In fact Channel 7 did a story on the man police said they were looking for.

Police released the mug shot of Irving Walker, but it was the wrong Irving Walker.

Irving is from New York but moved away to Virginia Beach 10 years ago.

"It's kind of hard to be in Chinatown and Virginia Beach at the same time," Walker said.

Police had his mug shot from a case back in 1998 involving burglaries, but records show that back then no criminal charges were filed against Walker.

Walker's lawyer is also sending a letter to the NYPD informing them that on one of the dates in question, Walker was actually at a doctor's appointment.

A Detective Santiago from the NYPD responded in a letter and admitted, "Irving Walker is not a suspect."

But, there was never any real explanation for the mix-up from police.

"What response have you gotten there?" Eyewitness News asked.

"No response," Walker's attorney said.

Now, another Irving Walker who prosecutors say confessed is being charged in the case.

The Irving Walker who was arrested for the burglaries is nine years younger and 45 pounds lighter than the man whose mug shot was released by police. In fact, they look nothing alike.

Meanwhile, Walker, who is the father of two young children, just wants to clear his name.

"Put me in the news saying, 'This is not the guy', I want them to admit they made a mistake," Walker said.

A lawsuit against the NYPD is pending.

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