A 32-year-old Michigan man claims he has repeatedly been stopped by strangers who want to know if he’s that shirtless interloper who led metro Detroit police on a wild chase in a segment aired on MSNBC’s “Caught on Camera: Dash Cam Diaries.”
Nope, he’s Keith Todd, a construction worker from the western Michigan, and he just wants to do things like buy groceries in peace or apply for a job without being judged on a reputation as a ne'er–do–well that he didn’t earn, the Detroit Free Press reports.
In a lawsuit filed last week in Wayne County Circuit Court, Todd said a snafu incorrectly naming him as the suspect in the “Caught on Camera” program has caused him humiliation, loss of employment and other misery. He’s asking NBC Universal, the Eastpointe Police Department and A One Limousine, to pay an unspecified amount of damages.
So was the Eastpointe Police Department, Todd alleges in his lawsuit.
Personnel there are the ones who “incorrectly researched” databases and sent the wrong photo, name and and other information when the network asked for permission to air the video.
The guy whose information should have been shared is Todd Keith, not Keith Todd.
When MSNBC aired the program in November (and repeated it in January), Keith Todd’s picture and name were flashed across the screen and he was identified as a habitual offender.
But in the dash-cam video, it was Todd Keith struggling with A One Limousine owner John Gambino, Todd Keith breaking free by wriggling out of his shirt, and Todd Keith dashing to a nearby McDonald’s, where he broke through a plate-glass window before police finally subdued him with a stun gun. He's shown screaming in pain on the video.
Keith Todd, who found out from an uncle who was watching the program that he had a starring role in what would become a personal nightmare, is in the police database because he served probation on an insufficient funds case and a minor theft case in Florida. But he says he's never stolen a limousine.
The network complied when he asked for a retraction and other corrective measures, but he and his attorney, Jonathan Browning of Grand Rapids, say that’s not enough to undo the damage that has been caused by the error.
His lawsuit alleges MSNBC “failed to exercise reasonable and proper care” in verifying the information provided by the police department, and also that the limousine company failed to verify the name and photo.
Police did not comment when approached by the Free Press, other than to say that they have no control over MSNBC’s programming decisions, and MSNBC did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Gambino declined comment on the merits of the lawsuit, but said the incident involving Todd Keith was “pretty wild.”
“I was just upset by someone taking my car,” he told the newspaper. “I called 911.”