Former NBA player Quinton Ross was reportedly found dead in Far Rockaway, his body stuffed in a trash bag and hidden in some bushes. Everything in that sentence is true, except for the part about the former NBA player. In a bizarre case of mistaken identity, NYPD has confirmed the name of the deceased man is Quinton Ross, but not the NBA journeyman. The New York Post broke the story, but corrected it once police clarified the name. Nevertheless, the story spread around sites like Deadspin, The Big Lead and social media.
We’re not sure how the false ID occurred, but a quick Google search of the name “Quinton Ross” brings up the NBA player, and the Post can only go so far with what police tell them (or, a fact checker fell asleep at the wheel). Thankfully, all sites realized the mix-up, and posted corrections. No harm, no foul, right? Well, that depends. While it appears this case will have a quick and clean resolution, just ask former NBA star Eddie Johnson how devastating a case of mistaken identity can be.
Eight years ago, some media outlets reported that the Phoenix Suns color analyst was a suspect in a rape investigation in Florida. A man named Eddie Johnson was arrested, but it was a different Eddie Johnson — who also happened to be a former NBA All-Star. The erroneous reports were devastating to Johnson, who had to wage a one-man media campaign to clear his name.