Baton Rouge man calls wrongful arrest an 'honest mistake'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Ronald Freeman and Roshecia Butler are in love. That's easy to see.

What the happy couple has a hard time figuring out is how Ronald wound-up behind-bars for a crime he did not commit.

"The things that I went through, it's rough," said Freeman.

Ronald and Roshecia were celebrating their anniversary December 29th. They had a romantic dinner then drove to the Albertson's at Perkins Rd. and Essen Ln. to grab a couple things.

"We had a great time. I drove. We listened to some nice, slow music," said Freeman.

"The police were on the scene. We were kind of puzzled because it wasn't a car accident so something had to have happened but we just went inside anyway and went shopping," said Butler, Freeman's fiancée.

Three weeks went by. Then, last week, Ronald was shocked when police knocked on his door.

"I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, and they accused me of a purse snatching that I didn't even do," said Freeman.

Freeman was arrested, charged with snatching a woman's purse and beating her up in the Albertson's parking lot back on the same night he and Roshecia stopped for groceries.

The attack left the victim shaken, bruised and battered that night.

"I started screaming and hollering and drawing attention to what was going on, hoping that he would freak out and quit and go away. Unfortunately, he didn't," the victim told 9News on December 30th.

Baton Rouge Police say an informant gave them a tip on Freeman and the victim was then shown surveillance pictures of six people.

"Investigators showed the victim this lineup, which immediately the victim picked-out Mr. Freeman," said Cpl. Don Coppola of Baton Rouge Police.

Freeman has a criminal record on drug charges, raising the question- did investigators moved too quickly in arresting him?

"Everything that investigators have done is absolutely correct and spot on," said Cpl. Coppola.

While he sat in jail for a week, police checked out his story, then dropped all charges and released Freeman Wednesday.

Thursday, home just 24-hours, Freeman says he's already comfortable putting the mishap behind him and moving on with his life.

"They did everything they were supposed to do. I guess it was just an honest mistake," said Freeman.

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