Cruise Passenger Arrested By Mistake

by  Amber Nolan | Sep 14, 2010
Police car
Police car / MattGush/iStock

Welcome back from vacation; you’re under arrest. Unfortunately, this is just the situation one unlucky passenger encountered when returning from a relaxing cruise to the Caribbean. Paola Londono arrived in Port Everglades with her 9-month old child in her arms, only to find herself in the custody of the Broward County police, being arrested for prostitution.

In March of this year, a different Paola Londono, 24, was arrested by Kissimmee police officials for prostitution and drug possession, and when she failed to appear in court, a warrant was issued for her arrest. On Sunday, September 5, an unsuspecting Paola Londono, 31, became a victim of mistaken identity when she stepped off the cruise ship. Her child was taken from her so that she could be escorted to the Broward County jail, where she remained for 36 hours.

The two women look nothing alike, and have different addresses and social security numbers. In fact, the younger Londono is 40 pounds lighter and five inches taller than the cruise passenger. So how could the police not realize the mix-up, especially after Londono kept insisting that they had the wrong person? It is now believed that the error occurred when the Osceola County Sheriff's Office entered information into a database incorrectly. When Broward County officials could not track down someone in Osceola County to verify her identification (due to the Labor Day weekend holiday), they relied on the inaccurate database. An innocent Londono was released around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, September 6, but after what she went through, let’s all hope that the police department seriously rethink their holiday vacation schedule.

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