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Chevy dealer facing lawsuit after having buyer arrested

A Chevy dealer is in hot water after having a customer arrest for getting a deal on a 2012 Traverse.

Danny Sawyer is suing a Chevrolet dealership in his home town of Chesapeake, Virginia, for having him arrested on theft charges after he paid $5,600 under sticker price for a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse.

On May 7 Sawyer visited Priority Chevrolet to trade in his 2008 Saturn view on a new 2012 Chevrolet Traverse. Sawyer test drove a blue Traverse that day, but ultimately agreed to buy a black one for about $33,400.

After a night of sleeping on it, Sawyer decided he really wanted the blue Traverse and returned his black car to the dealership for an exchange. Priority Chevrolet agreed the swap and Sawyer went on his way in his shiny new blue Traverse.

However, a week later Sawyer started to receive calls and letters from the dealership asking him to come back in to sign a new contract for the blue Traverse. As it turned out, the dealership mistakenly let Sawyer swap his $33,400 black Traverse for a blue Traverse with a sticker price of $39,000.

Sawyer, who paid off the balance of the Traverse via a cashier's check, refused to return to the dealership, at which point Priority Chevrolet called the police.

On June 15 Chesapeake police officers arrested Sawyer after Brad Anderson, a manager at the dealership, told authorities that Sawyer had stolen the vehicle. Sawyer spent four hours in jail before being released on bond. On August 23 all charges against Sawyer were dropped.

As a result of that false arrest, Sawyer is now suing Priority Chevrolet for $2.2 million in damages and legal fees. Priority Chevrolet has since apologized and decided to let Sawyer keep the SUV, but Rebecca Colaw, Sawyer's attorney, says "an apology is not enough.”

"We definitely made a mistake there,” Dennis Ellmer, president of Priority Chevrolet, told Pilot Online. "There is no doubt about it."

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