Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Help Me Howard: Cleared of Crime
Imagine this...You are out minding your own business and end up in jail after someone says you attacked them, but you didn't do it. This scary scenario happened to one man, now he wants to clear his name, and get an I'm sorry from police. But does he deserve one legally? It's tonight's 'Help Me Howard' with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Wanda Griffin: "This one we were leaving the reception."
If a picture really is worth a thousand words, then these snapshots from Tyrone and Wandas' wedding say it all.
Wanda Griffin: "What were you thinking about when I was coming inside the church?"
Tyrone Griffin: "Lord have mercy."
And remember that in good times and bad times' part of the ceremony
It's not just another line sometimes things do get really, really bad.
Tyrone Griffin: "Out of all the things in the world that I've been through, this is the worst that ever happened to me and my wife."
Tyrone's worst moment would be anyone's worst nightmare.
Tyrone Griffin: "Well, I was accused of raping a woman."
He was walking home from the grocery store in August when police pulled up and asked to talk to him.
Tyrone Griffin: "I said what's the problem? He said,' well there is a guy going around here doing some very bad things.'"
A few minutes later tyrone was told he was a suspect in the attempted rape of one woman and was being charged with the rape of another woman a few blocks away.
Tyrone Griffin: "The second woman said, that's him. That's when they put handcuffs on me and put me in the car."
He was taken to jail. That day his face was all over the news, as the victims told their story to south Floridians.
Tyrone Griffin: "He climbed on top of me and said if I screamed he was going to kill me."
With one victim id'ing him, Tyrone was locked away, facing a life in prison.
Tyrone Griffin: "All I can do was call on Jesus because I know he knows that I didn't do this, but it hurt me so bad because I kept telling the officer, I said 'ya'll got the wrong man.'"
Wanda knew they had the wrong man, but wondered how they could ever prove it to everyone."
Wanda Griffin "It hurts because his reputation is ruined regardless of whether this is on TV or not on TV. People still look at you, you know what I'm saying."
And as Tyrone waited for the DNA tests to come back, he sat knowing what people had to be saying about him.
Tyrone Griffin: "I'm on TV and friends and people, my nieces, my sisters, my brothers, my sons, my daughters, everybody is like, this man is always talking about God and church and everything and now look where he's at. That give's people doubts about me period."
Those doubts were erased though. When the DNA tests came back, and proved that Tyrone had nothing to do with the attacks. He is outraged at what he went through, but not angry at the police.
Tyrone Griffin: "They were doing their job. There is nothing bad I can really say about them."
These deeply religious people are not even angry at the victim who pointed the finger at Tyrone.
Wanda Griffin: "No, people make mistakes but it's wrong."
They are amazingly understanding, but that doesn't mean Tyrone is not hurting and asking for.
Tyrone Griffin: "An apology for everybody in the world to see, when they put me out there, put me back out there again, they put me way out there in the water. Now bring me back to land, where I belong with my woman, my wife."
By being on Help Me Howard Tyrone can tell South Florida he was cleared, but is he owed an apology from the police Howard?
Howard Finkelstein: Legally, police are not required to apologize and in this case they don't owe Tyrone an apology because they didn't do anything wrong. They took the word of a victim then the state attorney and the police did a good job by moving quickly to wrap up their investigation and clear an innocent man."
Ft. Lauderdale police told us they made the arrest based on evidence they gathered and the victim identifying Tyrone. They added if they had not arrested Tyrone that day they would have had to explain why they didn't arrest him with all that evidence.
Also the Broward State Attorney told us the investigation showed the DNA did not match Tyrone and neither did the fingerprints and footprints from the scene.
Tyrone Griffin: "And I believe God sent us to be with each other, forever."
Fortunately Tyrone and Wanda can start putting their lives back together and while we were putting this story together Ft. Lauderdale police told us they had captured the accused rapist. Stanley Brown is now in jail, charged with the crimes Tyrone was once charged with crimes Tyrone is finally cleared of.
Tyrone Griffin: "Everything happens for a reason, I'm just glad its over and I appreciate what's going on today with this."
Patrick Fraser: "Why did the victim I.D. Tyrone? One reason was that he was wearing shorts that looked like the shorts the real rapist was wearing. Now you know why lawyers say eyewitness identification can sometimes be the weakest link in a case."
Witnessed a situation you feel is outright criminal? Wanna lock up a solution? Contact us we don't judge guilt or innocence just dig to reveal fact from fiction.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:CONTACT: email@example.com