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Man Claims He Was Imprisoned For 17 Days For A Crime He Had Nothing To Do With… All Thanks To American Airlines

(Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

Diana Glebova Associate Editor
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An Arizona man filed a lawsuit against American Airlines on Monday, claiming he was falsely imprisoned for 17 days after the company identified him as a shoplifter for a crime he allegedly did not commit.

Michael Lowe had a layover at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and was flying to Reno, Nevada, in May of 2020, when surveillance cameras caught a shoplifter stealing from a store in the airport, the lawsuit claimed, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The shoplifting suspect also boarded Lowe’s American Airlines flight to Reno, the lawsuit continued.

Lowe claimed in the suit that he suffered while in prison and can no longer relax after what he witnessed while incarcerated, according to the outlet.

American Airlines, instead of reporting everyone who was on the flight to the police, only reported Lowe’s information, according to the lawsuit. Lowe shared no physical similarities to the man seen shoplifting the store in the footage, the outlet reported. He had long gray hair and wore a mask at the time of the incident, while the man on video had a military-style haircut and wore no mask, according to the outlet.

American Airlines alleged that Lowe was the shoplifter and police issued two warrants for his arrest, one for “felony burglary of a building and the second for criminal mischief,” the lawsuit said, according to the Star-Telegram. (RELATED: 14,000 Pilots Take Out Full-Page Newspaper Ad Calling Out Their Own Company)

Over a year later, Lowe was visiting New Mexico with friends and having a 4th of July party when police were called about an unrelated disturbance, the outlet said. The police allegedly took everyone’s information, and noticed that Lowe had two warrants out for his arrest. He was then arrested and the police allegedly refused to tell him why, according to the outlet.

Lowe repeatedly said he was the wrong person, but the police reportedly did not care, the outlet said. He was in prison for 17 days and suffered under harsh conditions, including being at risk of COVID-19, the lawsuit alleged. He said he slept on concrete and was in “constant state of fear of confrontation, physical abuse or sexual victimization,” the lawsuit stated, according to the Star-Telegram.

After 17 days of being in prison, Lowe was released without knowledge of why he had been imprisoned, according to the outlet.

“Upon stepping through the threshold of his home,” the suit allegedly said, “Mr. Lowe allowed himself to sob until he could no longer stand.”

His charges were eventually dismissed after his lawyer stepped in, but “American Airlines’ mistake” shook his “identity to the core and cast a pall over his view of the world,” the suit allegedly said.

“I blame American (Airlines),” Lowe’s lawyer, Scott Palmer said, according to the outlet. “Without American doing what they did, (the detective) never would have issued a warrant. It all starts with the disclosure of his name and his name only.”

American Airlines did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.