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Local man wrongfully arrested due to state clerical error | News

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Local man wrongfully arrested due to state clerical error

The 21-year-old Honor Roll student at Georgia State has never had trouble with the law before. He thought he would get a ticket and move on.

He was wrong.

"The officer said 'did you know your license was suspended?' I said no," Marcus said.

The officer told him he had a suspended license out of Macon.

"I haven't been to Macon in three years," Marcus said.

But he has been driving on a suspended license for the last year. For a crime he didn't commit.

Marcus gave 11Alive'sRyan Kruger the citation that's on his record with the Department of Driver Services.

The name Gerien Marcus was confused for Marcus Green.

The city, age, car, pretty much everything is wrong. Yet, Marcus Green was the one who paid the price.

"You don't think it's gonna happen to you that you're gonna end up in a jail cell because of a speeding ticket," said Marcus who spent three hours in jail before his father bailed him out with $1100 in cash.

Tuesday, Marcus and his father, Mark, went to Macon to try to find some answers.

"The court clerk said this actually happens a lot," said Mark Green.

The state recommends you check your license number online once a month. Something Marcus will be doing frequently.

His father, a former law enforcement official, is thankful his son remained polite and respectful, even though he was arrested for a crime he didn't commit.

"This could have went south very easily. With the heightened sensitivity with youth, particularly young black men, the wrong thing he could have said, the wrong action," Mark said, "could have created problems.

The Department of Driver Services says the department received two records from the court containing identical driver's license numbers. Protocol, according to a spokeswoman, is for information to be returned to the court for correction. "In this case, it was not and incorrect information was applied to Mr. Green's record."