Man mistakenly detained for child porn wants public apology

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk man wants his name cleared after police made a huge mistake.

Last week, two Norfolk police officers walked into Ryan Kilgore’s workplace and tried to arrest him for possession of child pornography.

“They asked if they could see a manager. So, I went to get my service manager,” said Kilgore, who is a computer engineer.

A couple minutes later, Kilgore was called into the manager’s office.

“I asked what was going on. They asked if I was Ryan, and I said, ‘Yes.’ They said, ‘You are under arrest,’” Kilgore told WAVY.com. “They said I’m under arrest for production and possession of child pornography. I told them that was ridiculous.”

Kilgore said he was shocked and had no idea what was going on. It turns out, police detained the wrong guy.

Norfolk police officials told 10 On Your Side their officers entered the business and asked the manager for a Ryan Fultz. They said the manager brought them Ryan Kilgore. To add to the confusion — Fultz used to work at the business, too.

“I was terrified,” Kilgore said. “I had no idea what was going to happen. I see all the time people are accused of this. They get put into the system and their lives are completely destroyed.”

Kilgore said he was told he was under arrest, but Norfolk police say they never officially arrested him. They said he was in detention, meaning they were still sorting out the details.

“I’m sitting in handcuffs and they have to call a car to come take me down to the police station,” Kilgore said. “I’m sitting, waiting there and I hear the [officer] sitting next to me on his radio say, ‘We have Ryan Fultz in custody.’ I looked at him and told him, ‘That’s not me.’”

That’s when the officers looked at Kilgore’s ID and realized they had the wrong guy. They let him go there.

“I want to know how they could make such a ridiculous mistake,” Kilgore told WAVY.com. “They had Fultz’s picture on the piece of paper. They showed me it later. This was a 21-year-old kid who is half my size. How can you mistake that for me?”

Police said Fultz, who is from Petersburg, was arrested July 2 for possession of pornography and obscene material. He was booked into Norfolk City Jail. The alleged offense took place in the evening of June 23, 2015. The victim was a 13-year-old, according to police.

Kilgore did hire an attorney, and they sent a letter to the city letting officials know they plan to sue the police department. Right now, Kilgore isn’t asking for money, but wants a public apology.

Document: Kilgore’s notice of intent to sue Norfolk

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