KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A case of mistaken identity could be the reason a Kansas City woman was charged with hitting a police officer with a car. The charges have been dropped, but 21-year-old Mikayla McNeal says the damage is done and she is trying to restore her good name.
Her picture and name have been all over the news as the alleged person who hit and injured a Kansas City, Mo. police officer. She maintains that she told officers from the beginning she didn't do it, and that it should have been easy for them to figure that out.
"It feels good to be home with my family,” Mikayla said.
She says she feels blessed after going through what she called a “terrifying ordeal.”
"I seen things that I've never seen before, I got talked to in ways I never been talked to before,” she said.
Mikayla was arrested later on the night of November 8, the same night the officer was struck in the area of 25th and Montgall at about 9:20. She was charged with three felonies for assault of a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action and resisting arrest.
She spent six days in jail.
"It was a lot to have to deal with. The week seemed like months, it did, it seemed like months,” she said.
Police told her she ran from a traffic stop, hitting a police officer with a car.
"I'm like wow, as I was reading it and I'm like I would never even think about doing this,” she said.
Her mother, LaDonna McNeal, says it never should have gone that far because her daughter had an alibi and witnesses.
"She was at home sleeping with her boyfriend; there were other people in the house. They did no type of investigation,” LaDonna said.
“(Police were) asking me questions like, ‘well, why did you run?’ I'm like, ‘run from what?’ ‘Where's the car?’ I'm like, ‘what car?’" Mikayla said.
Mikayla drives a red Lincoln that she said she bought in June. The car used in the hit-and-run that injured the officer was a silver Nissan Maxima with temporary tags that came back to Mikayla. She says she has had her license plates since the temporary tag expired on July 23. Court documents show the temporary tag on the silver car had been altered.
"I was upset that it happened, but I knew my daughter didn't do it,” LaDonna said.
"Pin it on the wrong person, it's hard to take in because you are like, ‘I'm innocent, when will my voice be heard?’” Mikayla said.
Police are not going as far as to say Mikayla didn't do it, but they said the charges were dropped because of conflicting witness information, which made them question the probable cause. Since they were not 100 percent certain she was the person behind the wheel, they say they erred on the side of caution and let her go. The incident is still under investigation.