HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A South Florida man who spent several months in jail says he was there for a crime he did not commit.
That man is blaming police for a wrongful arrest.
It all started on April 13, when Jesus Brandti said he was robbed near his Hollywood home.
“I was walking down the alley and he put a knife to my back and he was with some other guy and they snatched my wallet out my pocket,” Brandti told Local 10′s Neki Mohan.
Brandti said that 56-year-old Sunday Olukunle, who lives two doors down from Brandti, was the person who committed the crime.
That came as an apparent surprise to Olukunle, who said he was at a BBQ with neighbors all night long. He said Hollywood police came and put him in handcuffs.
“He said I robbed somebody,”Olukunle said. “I said no man, I was sitting here for the past four hours.”
It’s an alibi that was corroborated by 10 of his neighbors, all vouching for his whereabouts at the time of the crime.
"Sunday was here, the whole BBQ he was here," said neighbor La Shay Mitchell.
Olukunle was arrested and charged with a first-degree felony, spending almost three months behind bars. He is now back at home, but under court supervision.
Defense attorneys said the 56-year-old man’s life was put at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no real evidence against him other than hearsay.
"In this instance, there was no physical evidence," said Broward Public Defender Gordon Weekes. "In fact, the victim says he was wearing different clothes than he said he had on (during) the robbery, yet police didn't do any further investigation."
Attorneys are pushing for charges against Olukunle to be dropped, but they also want police to held accountable.
"When police arrive, they have to do more than take the word of a victim," said Weekes.
The victim is not backing down, saying he is "100 percent positive" that Olukunle committed the crime, but attorneys said there is no real evidence to back him up.
Meanwhile, Olukunle said he lost his job and wants his name cleared.
“I will go to my grave letting the world know I didn’t commit no robbery,” he said.