VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — A Vancouver man is reeling after he says he was wrongly held for five days in the Clark County Jail after being misidentified by officials, and wrongly arrested.
William James Hall was officially exonerated by the Superior Court of Clark County Nov. 5 after he said he lost his job and his home.
Hall was arrested Oct. 31 by Vancouver Police Department officers on a felony assault charge after a confrontation involving the gun he is legally permitted to carry, three alleged shoplifters, and Hall attempting to stop the alleged crime, he said.
Hall said at his arraignment Monday, Nov. 3, he was read multiple charges for crimes he did not commit because he was wrongly identified by officials as another William James Hall, from Mississippi.
“I’ve lost everything, I’ve lost my freedom, everything I’ve every owned, my job,” Hall said.
Oct. 31, 2014
According to the Arresting Officer’s Declaration of Probable Cause, signed by a Clark County Judge, police were called to the incident, in the 2600 block of NE 112th Ave. in Vancouver, after reports of a man in the Safeway parking lot wielding a gun.
A 911 caller told police he thought Hall was going to shoot him, after Hall allegedly pointed a gun at two girls, the declaration of probable cause states. Another witness reported seeing Hall point a silver revolver at a group of teens, according to the document.
He tells KOIN 6 News he used the gun to protect himself, while two males banged on the side of his car door, threatening him.
The declaration of probable cause also states Hall admitted to retrieving the gun from his glove box after seeing the teens attempting to get into his car with a hammer. He did this after the males approached the car.
In a Vancouver Police Department report filed Nov. 1, Hall said he saw men run out of the AM PM convenience store with a case of beer, and when he asked them if they stole something, he was threatened.
Hall said he believes one of the same suspects he says he saw stealing beer called the Vancouver Police Department.
Exoneration and lesser charge
“I looked it up, it’s not even unlawful, there was no law broken because I was defending myself,” Hall said. “At no time was I the aggressor, and as soon as the threat disappeared, I put my weapon away and left the scene.”
Dec. 5, the city prosecutor’s office filed misdemeanor charges against Hall for unlawful display of a firearm, while the Clark County prosecutor who filed for the exoneration said the county did not find the police report warranted felony charges.
Nov. 5, Hall was exonerated from Clark County Superior Court to Clark County District Court.
Hall maintains he had a right to display his weapon the way he did because he said he was defending himself. Hall told VPD he carries a concealed weapon at all times, for which police confirm he has a license.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.