A 31-year-old woman has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the NYPD after she was wrongly declared wanted for a grand larceny incident that was allegedly committed by a female hooker. According to New York Post, the NYPD wrongly used a photo of Eva Lopez in the since-deleted wanted poster.
Lopez, who is an Instagram influencer and a bartender, said she got to know the police had identified her as a person of interest after she and her boyfriend got off a Florida flight on August 16. She said her partner’s friend notified them about the wanted poster, court documents stated.
“I thought it was something fake. I really couldn’t believe the police would put me on a wanted poster,” Lopez said. She added that she initially ignored the poster’s authenticity, but she ultimately called the detective whose number had been put on it after her boss managed to convince her that it could actually be real.
Lopez said the detective, identified as Kevin Dwyer, even “knew it was an issue before she called.” The 31-year-old said Dwyer told her that the department’s Facebook page had deleted the wanted poster. Dwyer also said it had also been taken down on other websites.
But Lopez said that did nothing to mitigate the damage that had been caused. “It was already spread around on social media. … It was still being passed around, still being talked about, still making me look like a thief and a prostitute,” she told New York Post.
The poster, which featured a photo of Lopez, claimed she was wanted by police for grand larceny. Officials said the victim had sought the services of an escort after he booked her online. But the escort, who came to the victim’s Manhattan apartment, ended up stealing a $13,000 Rolex watch and his roommate’s Chase credit card, police said.
At the time of the incident, Lopez said she was in Queens. She also said that photo was about a month or two months old. The lawsuit stated that the detective told Lopez the victims presented her photos to the police. The suspect was also described as having a tattoo sleeve. Lopez, however, does not have a tattoo sleeve.
“On Facebook, the [wanted poster] got shared over thousands of times — 10,000, 20,000 times. Then on Instagram a lot of blog sites that have millions of followers, they posted it as well,” Lopez said.
The influencer also revealed that “people didn’t think” she “was being honest” when she explained she had been misidentified. “It was just really, really embarrassing, not only for me but for my family as well,” she said. “I just really want people to know that’s not me, in any way, shape or form. The girl has nothing to do with me.”
Lopez said she has never taken up a job as an escort and has never come across the victims. Her lawyer, Mark Shirian, said the suspect could have been wrongly using Lopez’s social media images.
“The NYPD should commit to more thorough investigations before haphazardly accusing and identifying innocent people of fantastic lies and brazen crimes,” Shirian said.