NBC 6 Investigators

Dashcam Video Shows Coconut Creek Police Taking Wrong Man to Jail

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A dashcam video exclusively obtained by NBC 6 Investigators shows Leonardo Silva Oliveira, 26, in the back of a police car moments after he was wrongly arrested by Coconut Creek Police.

"It’s impossible for me to be on probation because I’ve never been arrested,” Leonardo can be heard telling an unidentified officer, after he is told there is a warrant for his arrest in Palm Beach County.

“I hear you man, but someone is saying you did, you were arrested and have and violated probation and you literally, all of your identification and the way you look identifies you as the person,” the officer responded.

But as NBC 6 Investigators reported before, police had the wrong person, which Leonardo tells the Coconut Creek Police officer repeatedly.

“There is no way. There is literally no way,” Leonardo said.

The Leonardo Silva Oliveira on the back of the police car, is a cook at a steakhouse.

The warrant was for another Leonardo Silva Oliveira, who is a fugitive. The two have the same name, birth month and year, and resemble each other. But the wanted man had tattoos on both arms and the Leonardo, who was arrested by Coconut Creek Police, does not.

“Well, we’re going to have to sort this out at some point. Today, we are going to sort it out,” the officer tells Leonardo on the video. 

But he ended up spending almost a week behind bars.

At some point, the officer said he confirmed they have the right person. “It’s confirmed. I’ve confirmed that it’s you,” the officer said.

Records obtained from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office revealed multiple layers of missteps by law enforcement agencies. But the source of the confusion, according to the report, was that the warrant had the wrong information in it.

In the report, a PBSO’s detective wrote they followed an “investigative checklist,” used multiple databases and recommended a Coconut Creek sergeant to use a portable fingerprint scanner to confirm Leonardo’s identity but he said the sergeant declined, saying it was “unreliable” and made the decision to take Leonardo to jail.

It’s unclear how the wrong information made it to the warrant, but the report says it has been already removed from law enforcement databases to protect the Leonardo who was wrongly arrested.

Coconut Creek Police declined to answer our questions about the video and the PBSO’s findings. 

Leonardo told NBC 6 he is considering taking legal action against the department.

“Alright buddy, I hope everything works out for you,” the officer tells Leonardo as he closes the rear door of the police car.

“Oh my God,” Leonardo can be heard saying, as he sits in handcuffs.

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