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Father, Uber driver arrested, but is it a case of mistaken identity?

Wife says her husband, Jose Batista, has done nothing wrong

From left: Jose Batista, Elizabeth Rios and the couple's son
From left: Jose Batista, Elizabeth Rios and the couple's son


OCALA, Fla. – An Ocala wife and mother told News 6 she believes sheriff's deputies in Orange County wrongfully arrested her loved one last week during what she believes is a case of mistaken identity.

The hardest part, Elizabeth Rios told News 6, is that her husband, Jose Batista, is her family's sole provider. Rios said her family recently moved to the Orlando area from Miami for a better life for her son.

"For the last three days, I can’t sleep," Rios said. "My son is screaming 'Dada' everywhere."

Rios said her husband's arrest is a big mistake.

"They got the wrong guy and my husband shouldn’t be in jail for someone else," Rios said.

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office arrested Batista last Friday at International Drive and Austrian Court after stopping him for a faulty headlight, according to an incident report. He’s an Uber driver. Deputies said Batista had a warrant from Miami-Dade County for aggravated battery.

Batista told a judge over the weekend that he’s been mixed up before with a man in South Florida named Marco Batista, who, he said, shares a similar name and birthday as him. 

"This is the second time this happened, and when they run my prints, they let me go," Jose Batista said.

Court documents show Marco Batista has many aliases, such as Jose Batista and Josue Batista.

"The warrant doesn’t say Jose, it says Josue, and that’s not my name. My name is Jose," Batista said.

During one of Batista's two weekend court appearances, a judge told him he'd have to figure out the situation in Miami.

"Based on the paperwork I have, this is you," a judge said. "I understand you’re saying that’s not you, but you’re going to have to address that in Miami."

News 6 checked with Orange County sheriff’s deputies multiple times Tuesday.

After reviewing the arrest, they told News 6 the man in jail has the same Social Security number as the man wanted in South Florida, even though the Miami-Dade Police Department said their wanted man still has an open warrant.

"They are two different people with same name," Rios said. "It’s just the waiting game, and I’m sick and tired of waiting and I just want them to let him go."

Rios said she and her family won't give up.

News 6 asked the Orange County Jail if Batista was fingerprinted, but has not yet received a response.

Stay with News 6 for updates on this developing story. 


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