Shreveport pastor falls victim to mistaken identity

By Tracy Clemons

A Shreveport pastor spent six hours in a Caddo Parish jail for a crime he didn't commit. He was the victim of mistaken identity.

Bishop Gregory Jones admits he was speeding when he was pulled over by a Caddo Parish sheriff's deputy Monday.

"I thought it was going to be a routine traffic stop," Jones says.

But this was anything but routine.

"Once I gave him my license and registration, and he ran it, next thing I knew there was another sheriff car there, and I was asked out of the car and I was being arrested."

He had the wrong name at the wrong time.

"A hit came back for an active warrant for a person with the same spelling, same date of birth, and pretty much the same physical description," says Lt. Don Gibbs of the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office.

The warrant was from Austin, Texas.  Bishop Jones says he assured the deputies that it wasn't him, but they took him in anyway.

"We can't take a person's 'that's not me' on the side of the highway as the gospel," Lt. Gibbs says.

Jones says he was treated fine while in custody, but it was still an unpleasant experience nonetheless.

"Of course it was humiliating to be booked in, finger printed, photographed, have it hit the internet."

Deputies got a picture of the Gregory Jones wanted in Austin, and compared the two sets of fingerprints. When it showed they had the wrong guy, Lt. Gibbs says they cut him loose.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused him, but it's normal protocol."

Jones says his image has suffered since news of his encounter Monday spread, and he wants to set the record straight.

"I'm hoping that this will not vindicate me with the enemy, but validate my supporters."

Lt. Gibbs says this kind of mistaken identity is not very common. To his knowledge, it's happened Caddo Parish maybe three times in the last 15 years.

©2010 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.