TOPPENISH, WA - Two men are speaking up and saying they have been wrongly accused by the Toppenish Police Department for extortion.
"I just want people to know that it is not true about everything that is being said about me, because the people that really know me in this community know that I would never do something like that," said Abelardo Leyva.
In a Facebook post the department singled out and claimed Abelardo Leyva, 24, and Jerman Mata, 23, are guilty of extortion.
The post says, "A vehicle, matching the description of the suspect vehicle, was located at the exact location of the "drop off" and two subjects were detained.'
"We were at the wrong place at the wrong time... I was coming from Union Gap and I was with my friend. We were already going home, it was roughly around 10 p.m. We stopped outside the Toppenish area by McDonald Road, because that's where I live around there and my friend was going to drop me off already and we were just making a quick stop and that's when everything happened and we were confused," said Leyva.
Leyva says him and his friend were not told why they were being arrested.
"They didn't tell me nothing I was arrested on Thursday night and they were really aggressive, but they didn't tell me nothing they just said you're under arrest, you're under investigation... Until we got transferred all the way to Sunnyside, Friday around 7 p.m. is when they told us you are being charged for extortion," said Leyva.
Leyva and Mata have both been released and the charges have been lifted but the Toppenish Police Department has not commented on the issue.
"I want people to know the real truth, not because it just came from the source, from the Toppenish Police Department means it's right," said Leyva.
Leyva also says the hashtags the police department used in the post like #whenplansfail and #wannabemafiosos are not okay and that a police department should not be joking about a serious matter like this.
In one of the comments the department said, "One way we can connect with our community is with a bit of humor."