We can empathize with a man who possesses an infamous name, but at least were never forced to carry a copy of The House at Pooh Corner to prove our identity. 50-year-old Deli worker Jose Delacruz has been arrested four times—and nearly deported by the FBI—because he bears the same name and date of birth as Jose "El Toro" Delacruz, a Dominican drug dealer who was recently extradited to his home country. The non-drug dealing Delacruz now carries a certified document stating that he is in fact not the '80s gangster El Toro. "No matter what I do, they always think I'm him," Delacruz tells the Daily News. "It's a terrible way to live. I'm scared all the time."
Delacruz says he is routinely harassed by the police during traffic stops and background checks, and spent 4 days in the Tombs in April because cops thought they nabbed El Toro on a cocaine wrap. A Manhattan judge couldn't believe authorities' lack of due diligence: "You mean the person who's in front of me is not the person who's wanted in this indictment?" he said from the bench. "It certainly doesn't look like him, even with the passage of time."
Because of the mix-ups, Delacruz has found it difficult to find a job. The TLC refused to license him because of his name, and even a vacation to Orlando, Florida resulted in arrest. "My daughters think I must be guilty of something because it keeps happening," he says, "I just wanted to clear my name." Delacruz is planning to sue the NYPD for $1 million in damages, and his attorney spells out why they're at fault for his most recent arrest: "They chose to ignore the fact that Mr. Delacruz does not look like the fugitive, his fingerprints do not match the fugitive's."