This happened on July 10, 2016.
I work for a dry cleaning company. My boss has me go over the weekend to pick up clothes from the rest of the stores and taking to the production plant for the production crew to start early on Monday morning. So I'm driving down the freeway and get off the freeway at my exit. I park the company van in the parking lot. I see two different police officers drive around me. One stayed looking at me for about 5 seconds and drove away. Each police officer was from a different city.
I grabbed the trash and go behind the dry cleaning building and on my way to the dumpster. When I step outside I see the two police officers parked right next to each other. I start walking back to the building and I see one officer get out of the vehicle and approach me. He asks me if I have driven "company name van" and I said yes. Also asks how long have I been here. I tell him 10-15 minutes. I know I shouldn't have answered any questions. The other officer from a different city is out of the vehicle now.
I ask him if I'm free to go or if I'm being detained? He raised his voice at this point and said No! You're not free to go! You're under arrest for a hit and run and reckless driving! At this point I tell him I'm going to record this. He says that's fine I'm recording too. He asks to see my ID and I ask what crime I'm I suspected of committing? He says hit and run and reckless driving. Later that night I looked up the law for my state of Utah. I learned that I shouldn't have given him my drivers license. Just state my name and address. Only give my license if I'm already in a vehicle like speeding or in a traffic accident.
He also tells me "from the way you're acting. You're acting really nervous and that tells me you know you're guilty". I was freaking out because I've never been in this kind of situation before and the first thing I thought about was my two young sons. I was the only one working and my wife doesn't work because my sons needs medical attention. I kept thinking about no money for bail and the time lost from not working my regular job.
Cop asks to show him the van I was driving. Second cop finally talks and tells the other cop "yep that's the license plate number that was reported". Second cop does a full walk around the van inspecting any scratch or dent. I told both cops I will not be answering any more questions.
I keep unloading the van because I was 20 minutes away from clocking out and going home until the police showed up. I start walking back to the van and the one police officer that I've been talking to asks me "You understand you're the prime suspect of the hit and run?" "You understand that"? I told him I'm exercising my 5th amendment rights according to the Constitution. He rolls his eyes. He tells me you understand that the 5th amendment in the Constitution only protects you in a court of law. This is NOT a court of law. In my rebuttal I told him No. The 5th amendment protects you from any police encounter. He walks away at this point to talk to the other police officer.
They call my boss and he comes over.Police later changed from being arrested to being detained. They told my boss I was being detained. My boss told me Whew! The police are not happy with you! My boss told me they gave the insurance information to the police officers. Police only called my boss because I was "being uncooperative". I did ask a few minutes before my boss showed up for my drivers license back. He said no. I said okay and went on unloading the van.
Police gave my drivers license back. The police told my boss that further investigation will be with the Utah Highway Patrol since it happened on the freeway. The woman that called the police on me for an alleged hit and run and also reckless driving left a nasty voicemail in the company's phone system. Boss told me this.
I was freaking out in the following week. I was really scared that the police will get an arrest warrant and my oldest son will see his dad getting arrested. I thought about all the bills and lost time at work. I couldn't 100% focus at work.
The woman that accused me couldn't find any damage on her vehicle and neither her husband. My van was not damaged in any way either. Not a single thing on the company van. My boss only talked to her one more time over the phone and told me she was more relaxed at this point. I told my boss nobody honked at me to try to get my attention. I saw no one pull over.
No response from police either. Not even from the Utah Highway Patrol.
I do want to say I have most of the incident recorded on my phone. Except for the part when the police officer told me I was under arrest! But no handcuffs were put on me and I did not sit in the back of the police car.
The whole incident for the detainment was an hour and 20 minutes.
Do I just let it go? I don't know what to do at this point. If you were in this situation what would you do?