Man sues American Airlines claiming ‘hasty decision’ wrongfully jailed him for 17 days

An Arizona man sued American Airlines this week after he alleged the carrier wrongly identified him as a suspect in an airport burglary, leading to his arrest and what he said called a harrowing 17 days in jail.

Michael Lowe filed a lawsuit in Tarrant County, Texas on Monday after claiming he was arrested last July for a crime he did not commit.

According to the lawsuit, a duty-free shop at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Tarrant County was robbed in May 2020. Surveillance footage of the incident showed the culprit was a passenger on US Flight 2248 , and investigators obtained a search warrant ordering the airline to produce “all recorded travel data for all individuals” on that flight, the suit said.

Instead, Lowe said, American only produced identification for one passenger — him.

“It was a hasty decision on the part of American Airlines to come up with one suspect and only one suspect, and without it we wouldn’t be talking. It wouldn’t have happened,” Lowe’s attorney Scott Palmer said. to ABC News in a phone interview.

Palmer said his client looked nothing like the man suspected of carrying out the airport robbery.

Michael Lowe took a selfie, which he sent to his girlfriend, once on board American Airlines Flight #2448 from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Reno, Nevada.

Lowe’s court petition

“I blame American Airlines for taking out one of their own passengers,” he said.

Lowe was arrested more than a year after the incident while in New Mexico – where he was held in jail for more than two weeks.

“The terror that Mr. Lowe experienced while imprisoned in Quay County for the next 17 days was existential,” his lawsuit said. He was forced to sleep on the concrete floor and the prison did not have proper COVID-19 protocols, according to the complaint.

He was later released without explanation, according to his suit.

“He shouldn’t have been in jail. He didn’t commit any crime,” Palmer said.

Lowe was subjected to a strip search while in custody and given very little information about why he was behind bars, according to his lawsuit.

“It could have been you or me,” Palmer said. “I’ve never seen a made model like this.”

The lawsuit further alleges that the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Police detective handling the case initially expressed ‘disappointment’ that Lowe was released and missed a court appearance in Texas. the same morning – because, according to the prosecution, the detective always mistakenly thought he was the suspect.

PHOTO: Using surveillance footage, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) police tracked the burglary suspect through the terminal until he boarded US flight #2248 , as seen here.

Using surveillance footage, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) police tracked the burglary suspect through the terminal until he boarded US flight #2248, as seen here.

Judicial request

The detective eventually compared Lowe’s mugshot to the suspicious surveillance photo from the burglary and realized that it wasn’t him, according to the suit.

Palmer told ABC News that to his knowledge, the real suspect has yet to be arrested.

Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

American Airlines said it was “reviewing the lawsuit.”

ABC News

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