Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wrong man arrested in cop assault (

Wrong man arrested in cop assault
Brother with clean record held in Winchester for days

By Alex Bridges

Posted at 12:00 AM May. 14, 2011 | Updated: 11:42 PM May. 13, 201100

WINCHESTER -- The brother of a man sought by police for not making a court date last week sat in jail for days before authorities realized the mistake Friday.

Alvaro E. Bustillo-Maldonado appeared in Winchester Circuit Court wearing a uniform from the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center. The man, who gave the jail a Winchester city address, has no charges in any area courts.

Judge John Wetsel Jr. ordered the man's release Friday after attorneys explained that he was not the man authorities were seeking.

Alvaro E. Bustillo-Maldonado 's brother, Jose F. Bustillo-Maldonado, 30, of 619 Smithfield Ave., Winchester, is charged in the city with assault and battery of a law enforcement officer. The defendant faces a trial on the charge June 3. An indictment filed in the court in February accuses Jose Bustillo-Maldonado of assaulting an officer on Dec. 11.

Court records in Jose Bustillo-Maldonado's case show authorities arrested the defendant Monday, when in actuality they had taken his brother into custody. Jose Bustillo-Maldonado had failed to appear May 6 for a hearing on a defense motion to suppress evidence, and the judge at that time issued a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest.

Jose Bustillo-Maldonado, who was free on bond, appeared Friday in Circuit Court, dressed in plainclothes, accompanied by family members. His attorney, Carter Foulds, told Wetsel that the man brought to the courtroom from the jail was not his client.

Authorities stopped Alvaro Bustillo-Maldonado in Fairfax, according to Foulds. The man had no identification with him, but police found his brother's passport in the vehicle. Police ran Jose Bustillo-Maldonado's name and learned of the warrant for his arrest so, without a way to prove his identity, authorities took the brother into custody, according to Foulds and other court officials.

Winchester Circuit Court Clerk Terry Whittle said Jose Bustillo-Maldonado came to the Joint Judicial Center on Wednesday to discuss the warrant for his arrest, and the defendant said he was not aware of the May 6 court date.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Derek Aston told the court later that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a detainer on file for Jose Bustillo-Maldonado, which means the defendant could face deportation proceedings.

Upon hearing of the defendant's status with the federal immigration authorities and his absence from last week's scheduled hearing, Wetsel ordered Jose Bustillo-Maldonado's bond revoked. The judge rescheduled the suppression hearing for May 27.

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