DALLAS (CN) – A serial rapist who terrorized Dallas slipped away to Louisiana after police falsely arrested the wrong man and held him in solitary confinement for nine days, the man claims in court.
Alan Mason sued the Dallas Police Department, claiming the 2013 ordeal falsely labeled him as a rapist, subjecting him to constant harassment and death threats.
Mason, 31, is black. He sued the city on Sept. 3 in Dallas County Court.
Mason holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Grambling State University. He was working as an insurance agent when he was arrested in Arlington, a Dallas suburb.
At least six women were raped in south Dallas during the summer of 2013. Outrage boiled over at a neighborhood meeting where Dallas Police Chief David Brown was pressed “to find the South Dallas rapist,” according to Mason’s lawsuit.
“Directly following the community meeting Chief Brown tweeted that plaintiff was the person of interest in the South Dallas rapes. Immediately, plaintiff’s name and picture were all over the local and national news as for being the suspect responsible for the South Dallas rapist,” the complaint states.
Mason says a Dallas SWAT team arrested him at gunpoint and he was “paraded around from his residence to a local convenient store where the police department had a makeshift staging area.”
By the time he arrived at the Dallas County Jail, “every news outlet was waiting outside the gates to get a picture of plaintiff, as he was handcuffed and in custody in the police car.”
“After arriving at the police station, plaintiff was put in a holding cell where everyone in the area talked about him being the South Dallas rapist. Plaintiff remembers a young lady whom he went to high school with coming up to him and telling him what a sick individual he was for doing the rapes,” Mason says in the complaint.
He says he was put in solitary confinement for nine days, “while the real Dallas rapist fled to Louisiana.”
Authorities eventually arrested Van Dralan Dixson, 40, in Louisiana and charged him with the crimes when DNA evidence linked him to four of the rapes. Dallas media reported that nine rapes were connected to Dixson during the summer of 2013.
Dixson pleaded guilty in April to four counts of aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to life in prison, according to Dallas County Court records. He will be eligible for parole in 30 years.
The Dallas Police Department did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Mason says in his lawsuit that he “is experiencing death threats, being labeled as a rapist and is constantly being harassed.”
He says that being black “obviously played a role in this matter.”
“This incident coupled with several other incidents from Dallas Police Department suggests that there is a pattern of conduct being engaged in by certain law enforcement officers in Dallas County that seek to deprive a segment of our community of their civil rights,” the complaint states.
Mason seeks damages for negligence, defamation, and deprivation of civil rights, including being held in solitary confinement.
He is represented by Nigel Redmond of Dallas.
Dixson served 10 years in state prison for aggravated robbery, from 1993 to 2004, according to the Dallas Morning News. He was released a year before state law would have required him to submit a DNA sample for a database. According to the Morning News, those charges could have included sexual assault, but his victim was killed by a lightning bolt in 1993, a few weeks before she was to testify against him.
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