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Police Go To Arrest Wrong Woman In Case of Mistaken Identity

2:44 PM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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OLEAN, N.Y. -- Jennifer Louise Carlson has never been in trouble with the law, but she found herself nearly arrested by police last Friday in Olean after a case of mistaken identity.

Jennifer Lynn Carlson had been arrested, and skipped her bail; so an arrest warrant was issued for her. Olean Police were contacted by other law enforcement agencies, and they were led to the innocent Jennifer Louise Carlson.

She was at school in Olean when it happened.

"I had a phone call that there were police officers in the front of my school and in the back of my school," she said. "I had 5 minutes to come in and pack my stuff or they were going to come in and get me."

Jennifer said she was angry and humiliated.

Olean Police Chief Terry Schnell said it was a case of mistaken identity.

Although the two women had different dates of birth, middle names, and other easy-to-access information, other law enforcement told Olean she was the right person.

"I'm sorry for that," Chief Schnell said. "It was not our intention to do that."

The chief said Jennifer was only detained for about 5 minutes and that his officers apologized to her. He says they did not make a scene and did all they could be to discreet.

2 On Your Side learned the initial investigators found the wrong Jennifer by searching on Facebook.

Jennifer says she has since made her Facebook private, and she hopes local law enforcement will do their due diligence before showing up to arrest the wrong person.

"I feel like ... police officers, probation officers should be doing their job very thoroughly, not going off of assumptions from social networks," Jennifer said.

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