Wednesday, December 1, 2010

College Kid Mistaken for Teenager Wanted for Murder

Zachary Garcia and Zachery Garcia may have homonymous names, but, as you'd imagine, they're actually very different people. The former is a University of Florida student who works at a sandwich shop. The latter is a teenager accused of murder. Investigators in Polk Country, Florida, however, failed to pick up on the subtle difference in spelling between the two names -- a mistake that came to light after a casual Google search.

Turns out, authorities in the region mistakenly circulated a driver's license photo of Zachary (with an 'a'), whom they clearly confused with the real suspect, Zachery (with an 'e'). The college student became aware of the mistake only after Googling his name, and discovering that (surprise!) he was wanted for murder. "I was just very shocked to find my picture and the article saying that I was convicted of a felony murder charge," he told Tampa Bay station WTSP. "And I was just very shocked and angry that someone put my name up there and said I did something I didn't do."

The actual suspect, along with four other teenagers, allegedly broke into a house on September 23rd. One of the homeowners shot and killed one of the teens, but, because the death took place in the middle of a felony, all three kids (including Zachery) were charged with murder. Zachary the sandwich-maker, meanwhile, claims his everyday problems aren't nearly as dramatic. "Everybody makes mistakes," Garcia added. "I work at Publix and I might get somebody's sub (order) wrong. But for somebody to get (the photo of a suspect) wrong... it's not a sandwich, it's somebody's life you're playing with." Very true, but on the bright side, at least Garcia's not wanted for murder. And that's certainly something we take for granted every day.