Driver says Sedgwick speeding ticket mishap led to his wrongful arrest

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SEDGWICK, KAN. --- A Newton driver says a simple speeding ticket he received on Ridge Road led to a warrant for his arrest and even three hours in jail.

"I was going the speed limit, maybe a couple miles over, but I got clocked for going 13 miles over," Christopher Ross said.

So he decided to fight the ticket and showed up to his May court date. After prosecutors told him it would be difficult to win his case, Ross decided to apply for the diversion program, which required him to pay a fee plus the ticket amount, in exchange, it would be removed from his record in 12 months.

In the meantime, a new court date of July 9 had been set, when he was to pay the ticket amount in full.

However, before the new court date, Ross says he received word that he had been approved for the program, and even received confirmation in the mail, also dated July 9. He says he was told his court date was nullified and that he now had until Aug. 13 to pay the diversion fees.

Then last weekend, "The Newton police officers came to my house on behalf of Sedgwick and arrested me for failing to appear at a court date I wasn't even supposed to be at," Ross said.

Ross' father had to pay $236 to bail his son out of jail, but the lasting consequences have cost the recent Newman University grad much more.

"I'm trying to find a job right now and now my name is in the paper as an arrest, it's in the public record," Ross said.

Ross says he's tried repeatedly to clear up the error but no one is getting back to him.

KAKEnews called the county clerk's office Friday morning. She's on vacation for a couple weeks. Next, KAKEnews called the Sedgwick police chief. He says the city attorney, Brad Jantz, is dealing with the issue. As of Friday evening, Jantz had not responded to our messages.

"At best, this is just extreme incompetence on behalf of Sedgwick, at worst, it might be harassment."

Ross has now hired a lawyer and is even considering pressing charges against the city.


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