And now for a remarkable story that only came to light because of a local news team based in Washington D.C.
Stuart Fitzgerald spent 30 days in a Northern Virginia jail after a traffic stop where then Orange County Virginia deputy Carl Story threw Fitzgerald onto a four-lane highway and claimed he was “resisting arrest.”
Prosecutors charged Fitzgerald with felonies that could have sent him to prison for 16 years based solely on the word of deputy Story, who spun a tale where Fitzgerald’s forehead damaging the hood of his car somehow required Story and another deputy to throw Story onto the highway – an act that somehow injured the two officers.
After hearing Story’s fiction, Russ Ptacek of WUSA9 launched an investigation that “uncovered missing audio on the only known working camera, cameras that should have been there but were not, and cameras that may have recorded parts of the arrest but were never released.”
Local attorney Marcel Jones saw WUSA’s report and agreed to represent Fitzgerald without charge, and one week later Fitzgerald was free and Story was charged with “felony obtain money by false pretenses,” a charge which threatened the integrity of prosecution’s evidence, and caused them to move for Fitzgerald’s release.
The charge against Story has not indicated whether it was related to Fitzgerald’s arrest.
“”Romans 828 – it’s working,” said Fitzgerald, after the judge dismissed the charges against him. “All things work together for good to those who know God.” In addition to God, Fitzgerald thanked to news team brave enough to question police and help obtain his freedom.
“If it wasn’t for you guys, man, I mean you changed my life,” Fitzgerald said to the WUSA9. “On behalf of my family we thank you so much.”
Former deputy Carl Story has not been part of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office since 2014, but Orange County officials refused to disclose under what conditions he left the department. Fitzgerald was pulled over by Story for flashing his bright beams, and assaulted after refusing to sign a summons.
To the local news team who helped expose Story’s lies, bravo.
To the judge who released Story on his own recognizance after the evidence that Story commited a felony emerged, evidence enough for the state to dismiss it’s case against Fitzgerald emerged, and after Story threw an innocent man onto a four-lane highway – you should be ashamed.
Fitzgerald was made to spend 30 days in jail based on false accusations, while a lying criminal caught red-handed was allowed to walk away free.