SUFFOLK,Va. (WAVY) - Authorities all over Hampton Roads were on the look out Thursday for the escaped inmate from the Newport New City Farm.
29 year-old Aaron Morrison scaled the fence at the minimum security facility on Thursday and was captured on Friday. But during the search for Morrison, Suffolk Police handcuffed an innocent man.
Police drew their weapons on Viance Rowell and his family. His wife Akilah talked to 10 On Your Side.
"It was embarrassing, because it was in our neighborhood," Rowell said. "This is where we live. We don't want our neighbors thinking we're criminals."
Before embarrassment, Rowell said the situation was scary. Thursday night, she and her husband were driving home from a night of bowling. A police car followed the couple's car for almost two miles on Route 58 before turning on the blue lights.
"I thought he was going stop me for possibly speeding but, I'm like 'I wasn't speeding.' I rolled down my window and that's when I saw the gun," Rowell said. "'I'm like what's going on?'"
Rowell said another police car then pulled over.
"The officer told me to turn the vehicle off and put my keys on top of the car, get out and walk backwards towards him," Rowell said.
The Suffolk Police Officers were following a tip from someone who said they saw the escaped Newport News inmate, Aaron Morrison, ducking in the backseat of Rowell's car.
"I'm like 'well it's not my husband.'" "He was like, 'Where did you pick him up from?' I'm like 'I didn't pick him up from nowhere, we're married. We've been together 8 years,'" Rowell said.
Police told Viance Rowell to get out the car and placed him in handcuffs. The whole scene unfolded in front of the couple's two year son.
"He sees Mommy getting out of the car, then he sees Daddy," Rowell said. "He was screaming, and hollering. They did let me go get him."
After checking IDs and comparing pictures, police un-handcuffed Viance Rowell. His wife understands they were just doing their job. She hopes their story will make tipsters more careful in their calls to police.
"We as a community need to be more cautious when we are calling stuff in," Rowell said. "Be sure that you know you are calling in the correct information. It's not a game."
Suffolk Police say officers are trained to treat escaped inmates with extreme caution. They have to treat the suspect as a threat until it is deemed they are safe.
The Rowells say they are not angry with the Suffolk Police Department. They just wish the situation could have been handled differently.
Suffolk Police told WAVY.com the traffic stop lasted seven minutes and all involved officers apologized afterwards.
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