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Hawaii officials kept an innocent man institutionalized and sedated for two years.

A homeless man who was arrested and institutionalized for more than two years in Hawaii before authorities realized they had the wrong man is suing the state, The New York Times reported.

Joshua Spriestersbach was imprisoned for four months and spent another 28 months in a state mental hospital after police mistook him for a man named Thomas Castleberry in 2017, Insider previously reported.

He was released in January 2020 when authorities finally realized he wasn't Castleberry.

Spriesterbach was institutionalized under Castleberry's name but had never met Castleberry, who was wanted on drug-related charges.

"No one would believe him or take any meaningful steps to verify his identity and determine that what Mr. Spriestersbach was telling the truth — he was not Mr. Castleberry," Spriestersbach's lawyers said in a petition to vacate his prison record.

The Times reported that neither doctors nor psychologists believed Spriestersbach when he told them he wasn't the man police said he was.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that the lawsuit, filed on Sunday, alleges that medical officials at the state hospital "determined him to be delusional and decompensating, and recommended more medication be administered to Joshua against his will."

The lawsuit said officials then got a court order to give Sprietersbach "strong anti-psychotic medication" that caused him "much physical and emotional anguish."

Sprietersbach has been living with his sister in Vermont since his release. One of his lawyers, Alphonse A. Gerhardstein, told The Times that Spriestersbach is afraid to return to Hawaii because he's still identified as the wrong man in the state's criminal database.

"It's outrageous that the officials there have not cleared up this warrant," Gerhardstein told the Post.

The Hawaii State Hospital referred Insider to the State's Department of Health for comment, who had not replied at the time of publication.

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by Anonymousreply 17November 25, 2021 4:35 PM

OOPS! My bad!

by Anonymousreply 1November 24, 2021 7:29 PM

Sue them ALL into dust!

by Anonymousreply 2November 24, 2021 7:34 PM

So he was homeless and we gave him a free home for two years. Where’s the issue?

by Anonymousreply 3November 24, 2021 7:34 PM

Hawaii is like a 3rd World country.

No surprise.

by Anonymousreply 4November 24, 2021 7:36 PM

One was homeless and the other wanted on drug related charges.

Seems unlikely at least one of them hadn't ever been arrested before.

Couldn't they have checked fingerprints/mug shots?

by Anonymousreply 5November 24, 2021 7:38 PM

Sue the fuck out of them, Joshua. Get millions!

by Anonymousreply 6November 24, 2021 7:40 PM

His name’s not Joshua!

by Anonymousreply 7November 24, 2021 7:43 PM

How in the FUCK can state officials make a mistake like this?

You'd have to be fucking brain dead not to realize the difference.

Then again, Hawaii is the state that arrested a 10 year old for standing up to her bully.

[quote] ACLU alleges discrimination after Hawaii police handcuff Black 10-year-old girl

The ACLU of Hawaii is demanding the state’s education department and Honolulu police adopt immediate reforms following allegations that a then-10-year-old girl and her mother were discriminated against and had their rights violated last year.

The organization sent a letter Monday to interim Honolulu Police Chief Rade Vanic, Hawaii Department of Education interim Superintendent Keith T. Hayashi, and other local and state officials on behalf of Tamara Taylor and her daughter, identified as N.B.

The letter states Taylor was detained and kept from seeing her daughter, who was arrested without probable cause, imprisoned and subjected to excessive force following an incident at school.

The Hawaii Department of Education said it does not comment on pending or active litigation, and the Honolulu Police Department said its representatives are reviewing the letter and working with legal counsel to respond.

The letter stems from a January 2020 incident in which N.B., who is Black, was accused of participating in the creation of an offensive drawing of another student who had bullied her at Honowai Elementary School, near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham, according to the ACLU of Hawaii.

The drawing prompted a complaint from a parent, and the school’s administrators allegedly called police on behalf of the angry parent on Jan. 10, 2020, a day after they came into possession of the picture.

That morning, a vice principal called Taylor and asked her to come to the school, saying her daughter was involved in a dispute. The administrator told Taylor that the school was “thinking about calling the police,” the ACLU letter said.

A Honolulu police officer met Taylor when she arrived, according to the letter, which alleges that Taylor was detained in a room and prevented from seeing her daughter while N.B. was interrogated by police and school staff.

After another officer entered, Taylor was told the parent would be pressing charges, was denied her request to see her daughter and lectured her about child-rearing, the letter states.

They allegedly told Taylor that N.B. was treating the situation as a "joke" and asked her to come to the police station to pick up her child.

The letter states that Taylor saw her daughter driven away in a police car and yelled, "No! What did you just do? Bring her back here! You’ve just violated our rights!”

Taylor then cried, "loudly and full of anguish as her daughter was being driven away in handcuffs,” the letter says.

When Taylor picked up her daughter, N.B. was hungry and had marks on her wrists from being handcuffed, according to the letter, which also alleged that one officer told another: "Oh, so she wanted to see what jail is like for a day."

In conversations with an officer and a school administrator, respectively, Taylor was told her daughter was taken to the police station because they didn't want her to hit N.B. at school, and that administrators felt they needed to keep mother and daughter separated because they saw “fire” in Taylor’s eyes, according to the ACLU letter. The letter describes both as prejudiced and “baseless assumptions."

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by Anonymousreply 8November 24, 2021 7:44 PM

The NY Times has a much more in depth article, and it is actually a lot worse than it sounds.

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by Anonymousreply 9November 24, 2021 7:45 PM

This reminds me of when a woman travelled to another state for the birth of her grandchild and got arrested due to an outstanding warrant for possession of marijuana that was several decades old. Despite her obvious appearance she was placed in the male jail for some bizarre reason.

by Anonymousreply 10November 24, 2021 7:49 PM


by Anonymousreply 11November 24, 2021 8:11 PM

The OP's article was brought to us by Sarah Al-Arshani.

[quote] Before joining Insider, Sarah Al-Arshani was an editorial intern with The Jordan Times. Her work has also been published in local newspapers in Connecticut such as the Republican-American newspaper

by Anonymousreply 12November 24, 2021 8:59 PM

How can they get away with this kind of shit?

by Anonymousreply 13November 24, 2021 9:10 PM

Hawaii is a total shithole.

by Anonymousreply 14November 24, 2021 9:42 PM

Agree r14 !

by Anonymousreply 15November 24, 2021 9:56 PM

I second that, R14!

by Anonymousreply 16November 25, 2021 12:50 AM

As punishment, the Governor and Lt. Governor should be institutionalized and sedated for two years.

by Anonymousreply 17November 25, 2021 4:35 PM
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