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Great-grandfather spends Thanksgiving Day in jail on 34-year-old warrant

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Posted at 12:58 PM, Nov 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 13:58:58-05

DENVER (RNN/KMGH) - A 69-year-old man spent Thanksgiving Day in a Denver jail in connection to a 34-year-old case in Indiana.

Theodore McGowan was picked up by Denver Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday on an outstanding warrant and awaits extradition to Indiana, according to KMGH.

McGowan had been home preparing for Thanksgiving and was arrested in front of his family.

“It’s been terrible. It’s been like a nightmare,” McGowan said from jail.

The great-grandfather said he felt “embarrassed, tired and old.”

The warrant stemmed from a 34-year-old car theft charge, said Denver civil rights attorney Jason Flores-Williams, who represents McGowan.

McGowan received an 18-month sentence at a halfway house in connection with the car theft, Flores-Williams said.

McGowan was told at the time that he’d completed his sentence and could move out of the halfway house, according to a writ of habeas corpus filed by Flores-Williams.

What is more bizarre is that McGowan has gone through multiple background checks - including those necessary to drive buses during the 2008 Democratic National Convention - and the warrant has never shown up before.

He said he’d worked hard to build a new life.

McGowan worked as a bus driver for both Denver’s Regional Transportation District and for Denver Public Schools for more than 20 years.

He got married, had four kids, and recently went on a trip to Alaska with his finance he met at RTD after his wife passed away.

Flores-Williams said deputies forced McGowan to sign the extradition waiver without allowing him to speak with an attorney.

McGowan was also not allowed to retrieve his dental plate before he was brought to jail, Flores-Williams said. McGowan has had a hard time eating without it.

“My life is totally different. I’m a totally different person,” McGowan said.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network via KMGH. All rights reserved.