Traffic Stop Alerts North Texas Woman to Problem With Mistaken Identity - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Traffic Stop Alerts North Texas Woman to Problem With Mistaken Identity

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Most people aren't too happy when they get pulled over by police for a traffic violation. Regina Johnson feels differently. (Published Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017)

    Regina Johnson has never been in trouble with the law. That's not what came up when Italy Police Sgt. Matt Barron ran Johnson's driver's license after pulling her over last week for running a stop sign.

    "He said, 'Now, you can't be that person whose rap sheet I just pulled up,'" Johnson recalled.

    It was 20 years ago, when Johnson was applying for a job, that she first learned her identity had been mistaken for another "Regina A. Johnson." Both women have the same name, the same middle initial and the same birth date. There is one big difference.

    "She's a criminal with a long rap sheet," Johnson said. "I've never been in a Dallas courtroom and faced a Dallas judge for any crime in my life."

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    The other Regina Johnson had an outstanding arrest warrant for drug related crimes.

    Johnson thought she'd cleared up the mistake two decades ago, until she took a cruise in April and was mistakenly arrested when she returned to the Port of Galveston. Johnson spent 12 hours in jail before she was cleared.

    "That was the worst day of my life," Johnson said.

    Again, she thought it was cleared up, until the Sgt. Barron stopped her in Italy.

    "I was like, 'Oh, my God, it's happening all over again,'" Johnson said. "I said, 'Am I going to jail?'"

    "She was really kind of distraught that she was going to jail again," Barron recalled. "And it was for a mistake on somebody else's behalf."

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    Barron had a hunch the woman he stopped was not a criminal. He worked with Ellis County dispatchers to clear Johnson, whose driver's license number was mistakenly tied to the other Regina Johnson.

    "(Barron) showed me grace. He gave me what I needed just to make it through that 45-minutes," Johnson said.

    Johnson went home and posted a photo of herself and Barron on Facebook with a description of what happened. It got thousands of reactions on social media.

    "Look how many people love this guy," she said, smiling as she showed off the post.

    Johnson admits she unknowingly ran the stop sign in Italy, but she thinks it happened for a reason — to alert her that her mistaken identity still need to be fixed.

    "And I thank God for him stopping me while I ran that stop sign," Johnson said. "I met a good human being, and I thank God for it."

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    Johnson said she plans to go get fingerprinted again on Friday to start the process of getting her true identity back.

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