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May 26, 2005

Police storm wrong house, twice

From the North County Times:

When Mapleton resident Rodolfo Celis heard a knock on his door last Saturday night, he said he never suspected anything was amiss.

That is, until he opened the door and looked down the barrel of a rifle.

Several Murrieta police officers then entered his home in the 33500 block of Eugenia Lane, he said. They herded the 54-year-old father and five of his family members, including two young children, into the living room and sat them on a couch at gunpoint, he added.

"They didn't even show me a warrant or ask permission, they just pointed rifles," Celis said, adding that the officers then proceeded to search the house and garage for a suspect and automatic weapons.

The six officers believed a parolee armed with automatic weapons was inside the home and that was the reason they entered the house without a warrant, Murrieta police Lt. Bob Davenport said Friday.

The police apologized, but the family has been left shaken.

....meanwhile in Jonesboro, Arkansas...

Authorities say more than ten sheriff's deputies from White and Prarie counties trying to make a federal weapons arrest stormed the wrong home. They ended up in the home of a Searcy police officer.

Searcy officer Ann Owens said she's upset at the mistake and doesn't think there should have been any confusion between her house and the address the deputies needed.

Lieutenant John Slater of the White County Sheriff's Department said the county officers couldn't find the right address and a neighbor mistakenly pointed them to Owens' house.

At least this time the victim was a police officer, who can possibly convey to other officers the need to exercise their authority and power responsibly and respectfully.

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 26, 2005 09:12 AM

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