NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police said he was a drug dealer, he told them from the start that they were wrong, and that he had the evidence to prove it.
Clendan Charlemagne, 64, a security guard and father of four said he ‘s broke and emotionally traumatized after being wrongly accused of selling drugs to an undercover NYPD officer.
“I live in hell that day when it happened, I thought I was living in a nightmare. To see that I’m arrested for something I didn’t do at all,” he said.
Charlemagne, a former police officer in St. Lucia, said the nightmare began in June.
He was working security for DHL at JFK Airport when police busted into his Far Rockaway apartment with a warrant to search for drugs. His wife and children were home.
“They smashed the door down. They hit her in the eye with the door, her left eye. They push her with the kid. She had a baby on the shoulder at the time, and they cuffed my 14-year-old, my stepson,” he said, speaking exclusively with CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Cops found nothing, but three months later, police returned and arrested Charlemagne. He was accused of selling drugs to an undercover cop three times at this public housing building in Far Rockaway.
“I said that’s not me, they had the wrong you know the wrong guy. That’s not me at all. I don’t do drugs,” he said.
Charlemagne was released on his own recognizance, but his security license was suspended because of the charges, so he couldn’t work his two security jobs.
His boss, former NYPD detective Bob Watts told investigators he had surveillance video and signed time sheet records proving Charlemagne was at work when police claim he was selling drugs.
“He worked four to midnight, he could not be in Far Rockaway. And they said things like he probably went on his lunch break, and I said listen to me, he gets a half hour. You can’t even get to Far Rockaway in a half hour at 5 o’clock at night,” Wattss said.
Nevertheless it took the district attorney 6 months to finally clear Charlemagne of all charges.
He’s hired an attorney and filed a claim against the city, the Queens District Attorney, and the NYPD.
“This is a misidentification that resulted in the terrorization of not only my client, but his entire family,” his attorney said.
CBS2 was still waiting on a response from the Queens DA’s office. The New York City law department speaking on behald of the city and the NYPD said it’s reviewing Charlemagne’s claim.
His security guard license was just reinstated so he is working for DHL again, but he’s moved his entire family to Rhode Island.