Florida

'It was a nightmare:' Uber driver caught up in a case of mistaken identity, cops say

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A Central Florida Uber driver has been dealing with a legal nightmare.

Jose Batista was arrested May 18 in Orlando on an open warrant for two cases of aggravated battery dating back to 1995. According to an incident report, deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office initially pulled over Batista for a broken headlight.

During the traffic stop, deputies ran Batista's license and then placed the motorist under arrest, Miami Herald news partner CBS4 reported.

A week later, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office acknowledged that it was a case of mistaken identity. Batista was released from the Orange County Jail the same day.

"We are still seeking to piece together all of the information relating to this matter but it appears to us that the Jose Batista who was being held in jail is not the same individual for whom the judicial arrest order was issued almost 23 years ago," Miami-Dade prosecutors said.

The suspect still being sought is a South Florida man named Marco Batista, who shares the same last name, and the same birthday. This individual apparently also uses "Jose Batista" as an alias.

In an interview with the local TV station, the embattled Uber driver said he’d been arrested once before because he’d been mistaken for this person. The ride-sharing company also fired him after the incident last month.

Thankfully, now, Batista's slate is clean and the arrest order quashed, according to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

“Somebody dropped the ball, but I just thank God that I’m out of here,” said the married father of one. “It was a nightmare.”

Since the mix-up has been cleared up, Batista is back driving for Uber, reports ClickOrlando, which adds his attorney is considering legal action.

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