Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man who was wrongly imprisoned 24 years arrested

ST. PETERSBURG — Alan Crotzer, the man who spent 24 years in prison before being exonerated for two rapes he did not commit, was arrested Wednesday night after police say he was caught having sex with a prostitute.

A caller told police at about 10 p.m. that people were possibly negotiating a drug deal in an alley behind 2518 Fifth St. S, police said. When officers showed up, they found Crotzer in a black Dodge Avenger with a woman, Laquisha Hatten, 23, police said.

Crotzer, a former St. Petersburg resident, told officers he was on his way home to Tallahassee from Miami and had stopped in St. Petersburg to see some people he knew in the area. He said he had known Hatten for a couple of years, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.

"Hatten told him she was having some problems so they went into the alley to talk about it. While they were talking about her problems, she began performing oral sex on him," Puetz said.

Crotzer told officers no money had been exchanged.

He asked the arresting officers to call his wife. Crotzer's wife, in turn, called her brother, who lives in St. Petersburg, to pick up Crotzer's car. When the brother didn't arrive, officers locked the car and left it to be retrieved later, Puetz said.

Both Crotzer and Hatten were charged with lewd and lascivious behavior. Crotzer was released from Pinellas County Jail Thursday morning after paying $250 bail.

Hatten remained in jail Thursday morning. Hatten was arrested on a prostitution charge Sunday. On Monday, she was convicted on that charge and sentenced to two days in jail, but was credited for time served and released, court records show. Hatten has previous convictions on cocaine possession, retail theft, residential burglary and resisting arrest without violence.

DNA evidence led to the release of Crotzer, 49, from prison in 2006. He was originally convicted in 1982 of raping two women during a Tampa robbery. The state compensated him with $1.25 million after his release.

Crotzer is employed by the state Department of Juvenile Justice. The department's web page lists him as an "intervention specialist" who is "encouraging youth to choose their actions and friends wisely."

Frank Penela, a spokesman for the DJJ, said Crotzer had been in Miami for a work-related speaking engagement.

"He had always wanted to do work with troubled youth — to get them on the straight and narrow. He's been doing that for us for over a year now," Penela said.

Penela said Crotzer makes a "very minimal" salary of about $10,000 per year for his services.

Times staff writer Dominick Tao contributed to this report.

Man who was wrongly imprisoned 24 years arrested 09/09/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 9:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blogs

    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  2. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  3. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot

    News

    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of WESH.com
  4. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  5. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]