By Karen Morfitt
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– After a months-long battle to clear his name, a Colorado man has done just that.
Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies wrongfully arrested Joshua McCay last September, forcing him into an expensive court battle.
“It sort of just felt like it was never going to end,” McCay said.
Police reports show three suspects caught up in a high-speed chase, would give deputies a fake name for the driver.
With zero other evidence, deputies issued a warrant and Josh McCay, who was at home more than 80 miles away, became a wanted man.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock sat down with CBS4’s Karen Morfitt to talk about the case.
“There’s protocol that we should take to verify someone’s statement at the scene and those steps were left out,“ Spurlock said, “I believe we probably could have figured out oh wait a second they are lying to us.”
Months later, Spurlock is righting the wrong that started with his office.
First, reaching out to McCay directly.
“The third or fourth word out of my mouth was, ‘I apologize,’” Spurlock said.
He has also cut a check for the $15,000 that McCay lost because of the arrest.
In addition, Spurlock says an internal investigation into what happened has prompted a new approach to their work.
“We have made some changes in our policy that would require a supervisor to validate information that is received from a co-defendant, if you will,” he said.
From day one, that has been the biggest request from McCay and his family, changes, which will ensure what happened to him, does not happen again.
“We are going to make mistakes, and we have made mistakes and in this case we made a mistake once we recognized it and we wanted to make it right and that’s what I think we did,” Spurlock said.
With that McCay, his wife Lindsay, and 1-year-old son Theodore, want nothing more than to put the past behind them.
“It really does feel like this is over and we can put it to bed and we can move on with our lives,” McCay said.
According to Spurlock, four of the deputies involved are facing disciplinary action because of the missteps in this case– that could be anything form a letter of reprimand to suspension.
As far as the mistakes made by the court in this case, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office says because the case is sealed they cannot comment.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.