Metro Man Battling Long-Term Effects of ID Theft

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A Bonner Springs man says that he has been battling a case of stolen identity for years, and the latest incident left him dealing with a law firm demanding $11,000 in damages for an accident he wasn't involved in.

Robert Bryant says that the problems began two years ago when he found out that he had a court date for a DWI in Grain Valley. The only problem was that he had never been arrested for DWI in Grain Valley.

Now, he and his fiance say that now they have to carry around special paperwork showing that is the victim of identity theft, because they never know if they'll need to prove that he's not the suspect of a crime.

"Take time off work, go through all this paperwork and carry it around and worry about if I'm going to get pulled over and go to jail," said Bryant.

The Grain Valley DWI case was just the first instance - a mug shot proved that he wasn't the man authorities wanted in the case. But then last year a law firm came after him for $11,000 in damages from a wreck in Independence.

"They started reading off all my personal information, my drivers license and social security number, and I'm like how did you get this information? They said you were in an accident on 40 highway in Independence, Missouri," said Bryant.

That's when he found out that he also had two warrants out for his arrest. According to the ticket, the driver in the accident didn't provide a license, but gave out Bryant's name and address. The case was dismissed after talking to prosecutors, but the law firm kept after him for the $11,000 until he hired his own attorney and the lawsuit got dropped.

Bryant says that he's always worried about what could come next. He says that he doesn't understand why, at the scene of a wreck, somebody's word about who they are is good enough for law enforcement without any actual identification.

"They could give your name if they really wanted," said Bryant.

According to the Missouri Attorney General's Office, there's no law requiring someone to produce a valid ID when stopped by police. However, they did say that giving out false information is considered forgery, which is a felony.

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