WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - On November 26, 2019, Jamel Clark was getting ready for work when several D.C. police officers showed up at his door.
They asked a few questions before a detective walked up and asked the officers if "this is him?"
"They said 'yes' and so she began to walk back toward these civilian unmarked cars and then she got about halfway and then she walked back over and she said it's a positive," Clark told FOX 5.
Clark says he didn't know it then but two people had just identified the 41-year-old as the man they said pulled a gun and threatened to blow their heads off.
And then for the next 24 hours, Clark had little idea what was going on until he went before a judge in the basement of D.C. Superior Court where he first learned the evidence against him.
"I really didn't know what I was going to do then because they said they had my license plate, they said I was there. I was identified but I knew I wasn't there," said Clark.
The victims said they were pulling out of the Exxon at New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road Northeast on November 26 when a man in a white Acura MDX threatened them.
In an interview Friday at his attorney's downtown office, Clark said he was initially distraught before he got to work in hopes of solving the puzzle.
He hired Shawn Sukumar with the firm Price/Benowitz and the two got to work.
First, they found a receipt showing Clark was at a fast-food restaurant several miles away at the time of the assault and then they found the speed camera ticket — a ticket showing a car very similar to Clark's, a white Acura MDX, with his license plate on the back — a ticket that was snapped after his white Acura MDX was impounded by police and he was behind bars. Now, they were getting somewhere.
One of Clark's license plates had been stolen from his Acura and placed on the back of a car that looked just like his.
Sukumar then went to the Exxon station on New York Ave. where the assault had taken place and found a video of a man getting out of a white Acura MDX, a car that looked a lot like Clark's.
"The first thing I noticed was that on the roof mine has a roof rack with black bars". The car in the video did not and the man who got out of the car looked nothing like Clark, who has a slim build. The man getting out the car had a heavy build which is what the victims told police.
But what really sealed the deal for prosecutors was the ticket showing a car that appeared to be Clark's with his tag number on it snapped on the day he was behind bars.
"I pride myself on being the person in my circle of friends and family that they go to solve problems," said Clark. "And I can't solve this, one what do I do? Where do I go? Where do I turn? I didn't do this... doesn't make any sense, I'm innocent."
Once Sukumar felt he had everything in place, he took the evidence to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the charges were dropped.
"It was a comedy of errors from start to finish", said Sukumar. "Where it was a series of events that you would never think combined together that you would never think that an innocent person would get arrested and charged with."
Clark says although this ordeal has cost him a considerable amount of money, he holds no grudge toward the police who he says were doing their job, nor to the people who identified him as the man with the gun. He says the victims were traumatized and just got it wrong.