UNITED STATES NEWS

Michigan cop’s mistake leads to $320,000 deal with Japanese man wrongly accused of drunken driving

Feb 29, 2024, 12:47 PM

A Michigan village has agreed to a $320,000 settlement with a man from Japan who was wrongly accused of drunken driving after a police officer badly misread a breath test, court records show.

Ryohei Akima blew a 0.02 on the test, but it was mistakenly read by the Fowlerville officer as 0.22 — nearly three times over Michigan’s blood-alcohol limit for driving.

Caitlyn Peca, who was a rookie officer, told a colleague over the radio, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” according to a summary of the case.

Akima, a native of Yonago, Japan, was in the U.S. on a work visa in 2020. Charges of driving while intoxicated were dropped when a blood sample further showed that he wasn’t drunk.

Akima, 37, filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that Peca’s actions violated the U.S. Constitution. A settlement was reached in January, a few months after a federal appeals court said the case could move forward.

“It would be evident to a reasonable officer that (Akima) was, quite apparently, sober,” Judge Jane Stranch said in a 3-0 opinion. “So a reasonable jury could conclude that (the) arrest was not supported by probable cause and that Officer Peca was not entitled to qualified immunity.”

Fowlerville is paying the lawsuit settlement through insurance, records show.

An email seeking comment from Akima’s lawyer wasn’t immediately answered Thursday.

T. Joseph Seward, an attorney who represented Peca, claimed that performance on roadside sobriety tests was enough to make an arrest and avoid civil liability in the lawsuit.

“We’re disappointed the courts didn’t see it that way,” he said.

Peca is no longer an officer in Fowlerville.

___

Follow Ed White on X at https://twitter.com/edwritez

United States News

Associated Press

Ex-Philadelphia police officer pleads guilty in shooting death of 12-year-old boy

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A fired Philadelphia police officer pleaded guilty Friday to murder in the shooting of a fleeing 12-year-old boy, who prosecutors have said was on the ground and unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot. Edsaul Mendoza also pleaded guilty to possession of an instrument of crime as part of a plea […]

39 minutes ago

Associated Press

Video of 2 bear cubs pulled from trees prompts North Carolina wildlife investigation but no charges

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A video of people pulling two bear cubs from a tree in North Carolina as one person posed for a photo with one of the wild animals prompted an investigation, but a state wildlife official said Friday that no charges will be filed. When North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission staff responded […]

55 minutes ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a Manhattan Criminal Court on April 19, 2024. A full jury was...

Associated Press

Full jury of 12, with 6 alternates, seated for Donald Trump’s criminal trial

A full jury was seated Friday in Donald Trump’s hush money case, the first criminal trial for a former president in U.S. history.

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Attorneys argue that Florida law discriminates against Chinese nationals trying to buy homes

An attorney asked a federal appeals court on Friday to block a controversial Florida law signed last year that restricts Chinese citizens from buying real estate in much of the state, calling it discriminatory and a violation of the federal government’s supremacy in deciding foreign affairs. Attorney Ashley Gorski, representing four Chinese nationals who live […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

A convicted rapist is charged with murder in the killing of a Connecticut visiting nurse

A convicted rapist was charged with murder and attempted sexual assault Friday in the killing of a visiting nurse at a Connecticut halfway house for sex offenders in October — a crime that spurred calls for better safety measures for home health care workers. Authorities added the charges against Michael Reese, 39, as he appeared […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Catholic priest resigns from Michigan church following protests over his criticism of a gay author

BEAL CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Catholic priest has resigned as pastor of a church in a small central Michigan community, the result of weeks of controversy following his publicly expressed regret that a gay author had read a book to preschool children. Gay rights activists and others have held regular protests outside St. Joseph […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Michigan cop’s mistake leads to $320,000 deal with Japanese man wrongly accused of drunken driving