By Kurtis Ming

A Sacramento mom who’s never been in trouble with the law says the Sheriff’s Department threatened a warrant for her arrest. She knows they’re confusing her with someone else. When no one seemed to listen, it was time to call Kurtis.

The risk of going to jail for something she didn’t do.

They claim they caught her on camera running a red light and she ignored the ticket.

But she says it wasn’t her!

“I’m completely innocent… And they’re treating me like a criminal,” says Stacy Lynne Duarte, Sacramento resident.

The red light violation showed up in the mail in August.

Stacy knew it wasn’t hers.

“I thought it was a mistake.  I laughed for a second… who’s getting a warrant in my house?” asked Stacy.

The Sacramento County Sheriff saying, if she didn’t pay a $577 fine, they’d issue a warrant for her arrest, suspend her driving privileges and garnish her wages.

“I said that’s not me, I don’t own that car, it’s definitely not me,” says Stacy.

The car ticketed for running the red light at El Camino and Evergreen in March of last year was an Acura SUV.

But Stacy doesn’t have an Acura. She drove this BMW.

Even more interesting, the ticket was written to a Stacy R. Duarte.   

Look at Stacy’s drivers license.  Her middle name doesn’t start with an “R,” it’s Lynne.

When Stacy called the Sheriff’s Department, they sent her to traffic court to clear it up.

Traffic court sent her back to the Sheriff’s Department, which then directed her to deal with the red light camera company.

“They just send me to another person and they keep sending me around,” says Stacy.

Five months went by with no results and then her monthly car insurance shot up $65.

Stacy refuses to pay the price for something she didn’t do.

“I need help or I will end up in jail for something that’s not even related to me,” says Stacy.

We don’t want that to happen.

When we called the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, they realized someone with their department messed up.

“Unfortunately, Stacy Lynne Duarte has the first and last name of at least one other individual so it was actually an error, it was human error on the part of one of the officers,” says Deputy Jason Ramos, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Spokesperson.

When the ticket wasn’t paid, Deputy Ramos says the courts went after Stacy R. Duarte.

But the officer accidentally tied the ticket to Stacy Lynne Duarte.

“Obviously we’re sorry about the inconvenience, sorry about the heartache, the uneasiness she felt as she was driving around.  I’m just glad it got taken care of,” says Deputy Ramos.

Stacy’s DMV record is now cleared. She doesn’t have to worry about getting arrested for something she didn’t do.

“I could just get that stress off my back and be able to breathe again,” says Stacy.

So what about Stacy’s car insurance going up?

Once the Sheriff’s Department cleared her record, her insurance company agreed to lower her rates and refund her the extra money she paid.

As for the actual person who ran that red light, the Sheriff’s Department tells us they don’t plan on going after her because they didn’t issue the citation correctly the first time around. And by law, they must properly cite you within 15 days of the violation.

Comments (3)
  1. mbee!1 says:

    Please tell; me again why we should pay those people over at the Sheriff Department if that is their idea of how to run the department. It took embarrassment to get these people to fix their mistake and we pay them 100,000 a year. We should fire the deputy responsible and the deputy who did not listen to her and correct the mistake. This kind of finger pointing caused the Gulf blowout, the two shuttle blowups and a whole lot of other errors. People will not pay attention until they start paying a price for their mistakes.

  2. Chip P says:

    that’s just sad. as with all traffic enforcement, the Sac County Sheriff contracts with the California Highway Patrol, which includes Red Light Cameras. Although the County takes the heat for the mistake, it was a CHP Officer that made the mistake. it appears the CHP didnt check their work and then was unwilling to correct their error.

  3. Donna H says:

    Isn’t it terrible when you are blamed for something you didn’t do! I can totally relate….

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