Honeymoon ends in handcuff as wrong woman arrested at end of cruise

Published 9:48 pm Saturday, February 15, 2020

A case of mistaken identity caused a Louisiana woman to leave her honeymoon in handcuffs and spend 36 hours in the New Orleans jail before it was sorted out.

Sara Saucier of Ponchatoula was on a cruise ship returning from a trip to Cozumel with her new husband when U.S. customs agents pounded on her door, accusing her of not returning a leased vehicle in November 2017, according to a report from WVLA-TV.

But officials had the wrong person.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office detective who filed the warrant logged the birth date of the wrong Sara Saucier. The mistake went unnoticed for 36 hours, as Saucier sat in the Orleans Parish Jail.

“I thought they would realize the mistake, and they would let me go,” Saucier said in a Thursday interview. “At one point when no one was listening to what I was saying, about me being innocent, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m really going to be in here for a while.'”

Sheriffs’ deputies realized the confusion Tuesday, as they relocated Saucier — and they released her that afternoon. She had been in custody since Monday morning.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux apologized for the error.

“I will do all I can to put every possible safeguard in place to attempt to prevent this from happening again,” Gautreaux said in a statement.