HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The mother of the 19-year-old mistakenly identified as a suspect a Henrico carjacking and shooting is speaking out after she says her son’s reputation was tarnished.
“It wasn’t fair. It’s just not fair,” said Adrian Saunders.
Saunders son Kevante Pettus was arrested and charged with a carjacking, robbery and shooting a man in the face during the Sandston incident on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
“They pulled me over when we were coming back from the store… They just immediately put my son in handcuffs,” she said.
Saunders said officers told her Pettus fits the description of someone involved in a robbery earlier in the day.
“I was just stunned,” said Saunders. “It was just really hard to believe it.”
Saunders claims she told the police then her son didn't do it.
“I was worried about the media, the job, just everybody looking at my son differently when he was innocent.”
She says her son had an alibi, but police didn't believe her.
Thursday, Pettus was released from jail and all charges were dropped by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office after they say he was misidentified by the victim.
"I want them to find whoever they are looking for and lock him up. Treat him the same way they treated my son. I also want them to apologize to my son," said Saunders.
“They’ve put his picture on TV and they have everyone looking at him different," she said. "I want them to come forth to the news, and the same way they put his picture up on the news, I would like them to come forth and apologize to my son on the news.”
Pettus says it feels good to be home and he feels a heavy weight lifted off his shoulders since being released.
Saunders says now that this ordeal is over they look forward to moving on with their lives.
A second man, 28-year-old Mark Alan Workman, remains charged in connection to the carjacking Scotch Pine Drive in eastern Henrico.
Workman was charged with two counts each of robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
Anyone with information regarding this offense is asked to contact Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.