UF Student Googled Himself and Discovered This...
His face is associated with a serious crime, but his name is the only thing connecting him to murder. A student at the University of Florida is trying to clear his name after being misrepresented by law enforcement.
When Zachary Garcia googled himself last Saturday night he found something he never expected.
Zachary Garcia said, "And I was pretty astonished...I was like, wow you know my license ID picture is on the internet. So I clicked it and it was linked to an article saying that Zachery Garcia me, committed felony murder."
The Polk County Sheriff's Office sent a press release to the media months ago, detailing a crime in Davenport.
Four teenagers were involved in a home invasion where the owner ended up fatally shooting one of the teens.
The other three suspects were charged with felony murder for their involvement.
One of them is 17-year-old, Zachery Garcia.
But the picture attached to the release was 18-year-old Zachary Garcia. He said, "It's a very bizarre, inexplicable feeling knowing that my picture was out there three months linked to a felony murder charge."
The Polk County Sheriff's office issued a correction and an apology letter to Zachary, but the ordeal isn't over. He said, "It's not 100% fixed...if you type Zachary Garcia Davenport, which is the town in Florida, it actually shows the article with my name and picture still attached."
Garcia is telling his story to let other people know that this could happen to anyone. He said, "My recommendation is to google yourself...don't put anything bad about yourself on facebook, don't put my profanity because if you're ever trying to get a job that possible employer will find you. They'll scour the internet. If there's anything negative linked to your name they'll find it."
Although Zachary is working to clear his name through the media, he is still concerned that his reputation could be permanently damaged. He said, "I worked very hard for my reputation since day one, you know like I'm the first one in my family to go to college and for my reputation to be at stake, that scared the living hell out of me."
TV20 spoke with a representative from the Polk County Sheriff's Office today and they said they're still working to find out why the mistake was made.
As for Zachary Garcia, he's studying for finals in between interviews for various news outlets.
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