SEARCY (KTHV) - THV 11 News heard from the man wrongly accused in a hit-and-run case in Little Rock's Hillcrest neighborhood, back in January.
Initially, police believed that Steven Kissinger of Searcy was the man they were looking for in this case, but on Monday, the department announced that they arrested a new suspect and is dropping charges against Kissinger.
THV 11's Max Seigle met Kissinger at his Searcy home and found out that he's definitely feeling relieved that police are no longer after him in this case, but Kissinger doesn't expect complete closure until the real culprit is found guilty.
"It's a 2002 Ford250 Super Duty," Kissinger said, standing beside his pick-up truck at his Searcy home.
Steven Kissinger said he only drives his white pick-up truck around his Searcy home, but he found out in January that he'd allegedly drove it somewhere else.
"It seemed unreal. I thought this had to be a bad mistake. This is some kind of a joke," Kissinger said.
The 34-year-old father of two boys found himself arrested at work and put in jail for 24 hours after a witness report tied his truck and military plates to a hit-and-run Jan. 7 in Little Rock's Hillcrest area.
"That happened Sunday morning, and I was in my home with my wife and two sons, I didn't learn about this incident until that following Wednesday," Kissinger recalled.
He said that it cost him almost $3,000 get out of jail, another $540 to get his truck back and attorney fees, which are yet to be tallied.
"No one's prepared to pay money for anything like this," Kissinger said.
Kissinger wouldn't have a sigh of relief until Monday, when Little Rock police announced that it was no longer charging Kissinger because the department had arrested another suspect, 42-year-old Claude Smith. It turns out that Smith had a truck similar to Kissinger's but with a different license plate. Investigators spotted the truck in business surveillance video.
"It's unfortunate that it did turn out this way, but our officers were acting reasonably based on information that they received from witnesses," said Sgt. Cassandra Davis with Little Rock Police.
It's some closure for Kissinger, but not entirely.
"I've got to know for a fact that this guy did do it because if he didn't, he's in a situation no different than myself," Kissinger said.
With the charges off the table, Kissinger's attorney said he's in the process of getting his client's initial arrest sealed in the court system. That means it would not appear in something like a future background check for a job, but it would come up for something like a stop for speeding when police look up his driver's license.
As for the money lost, Kissinger said it's too early to say if he'll fight to recoup the costs in court.