Charles Belk, a film producer, who was on his way recently to attend a pre-Emmy party in Beverly Hills was handcuffed and detained for 6 hours before authorities realized he didn’t match the description of the suspect.  Belk said on his Facebook page that he left a restaurant and was walking to his car at about 5:20 p.m. on Friday to check and make sure his parking meter wasn’t running out when he was surrounded by police and ordered to sit on the curb.

“I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was a well educated American citizen that had received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Indiana University…and an executive leadership certificate from Harvard Business School,” Belk’s statement read, “Hey, I was ‘tall,’ ‘bald,’ a ‘male’ and ‘black’…”

Police were investigating an armed bank robbery that had occurred just before and arrested Belk because he “matched the physical characteristics of the second suspect and was in the area…,” according to a statement released by the Beverly Hills PD.  A witness positively identified Belk as the second suspect, according to police.

Belk went on to say that police refused to tell him why he was being detained, “Within an hour, I was transported to the Beverly Hills Police Headquarters, photographed, fingerprinted and put under a $100,000 bail and accused of armed bank robbery and accessory to robbery of a Citibank,” Belk said.

He said that he was not allowed to make a phone call or speak to a lawyer.  While being booked, Belk asked why he was being treated this way and he was told that it was because he committed a serious crime.  It was determined during those six hours of detention, through further investigation, that other witnesses could not identify Belk and that the surveillance video revealed that Belk didn’t look like the suspects.

“What I don’t get…is why, during the 45 minutes that they had me on the curb, handcuffed in the sun, before they locked me up and took away my civil rights, that they could not simply review the ATM and bank’s HD video footage to clearly see…[the suspect] did not fit MY description,” Belk said.

Police in Beverly Hills said that Belk’s detention was a necessary part of the investigation, but it was unfortunate, “The [BHPD] regrets the inconvenience…but was under obligation to thoroughly verify that he was not the suspect before releas[e]…”  The second suspect has not been caught, but Brianna Kloutse, 47, was arrested shortly after Friday’s robbery and is suspected in 11 other L.A.-area robberies.


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