Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Official Thugs Kick in Wrong Door

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Parole officers raid wrong house in E Hartford (Connecticut)

By Jason Rowe, Journal Inquirer
June 30, 2005

EAST HARTFORD -- An East Hartford family said Wednesday they're looking for an apology and repairs to their home, damaged when state parole officers busted into the wrong house and handcuffed the son.

The son, Kevin Davidson, 19, said Wednesday he knew something wasn't right when he came home Tuesday night from his job at Home Depot and saw a strange car in his neighborhood near the Glastonbury town line.


His concerns escalated when the car pulled in front of his Manor Circle home after he entered it, shortly after 10 p.m. Fearing the worst, Davidson, 19, said he gathered the bologna sandwich he just made, a steak knife, and a phone, and headed into his bedroom, where he was prepared to call 911 if the situation escalated.

Davidson gave this account:

Within minutes, flashlights were being shined into the teen's bedroom window and a group of men in street clothes barged through the kitchen door.

The men then barged into Davidson's bedroom, which had been locked, and ordered Davidson to put the knife down, which he did.

The men handcuffed Davidson, a student at Manchester Community College, and began asking him about a person named Geraldo.

After several moments of confusion, the men, who turned out to be state parole officers, uncuffed Davidson, told him he wasn't the suspect they were looking for, and left.

During the melee, two doors were broken and some drywall damaged.

"I thought they were going to rob us," Kevin Davidson said Wednesday.

"I'm upset, confused, and tired."

Davidson's father, Troy Davidson, is equally angry and upset. He said he wants the state or the town of East Hartford to pay for the damage to his home.

Troy Davidson said he was startled out of bed shortly after 10:15 p.m. Tuesday by the sound of one of his doors being broken. When he rushed out of his bedroom, he said, he saw a number of dark silhouettes near his son's bedroom.

Troy Davidson said he asked the men who they were, but they wouldn't identify themselves.

The men were dressed in civilian clothes and there was no way to tell they were part of a law enforcement operation, Troy Davidson said. Brian Garnett, state Department of Correction spokesman, said today the officers were wearing their badges, per protocol.

After Troy Davidson loudly asked the men what they were doing in their home, the officers began to relent and Kevin was released a short time later. As the men left, Troy Davidson said he was approached by an East Hartford police officer who apologized for the inconvenience saying, "I hope you could fix your door."

The incident outraged Troy Davidson, who has lived in the Manor Circle home for 15 years.

"I want them to fix the damage," Troy Davidson said, who described the incident as "totally unprofessional and totally uncalled for."

In a prepared statement, state Department of Correction spokesman Edward Ramsey said Wednesday that three parole officers were following up on information regarding the whereabouts of a wanted parolee. Ramsey did not have information about the identity of the suspect or the type of crime that he was sentenced for. Garnett said today the department would not release that information because it doesn't want to tip off the person being sought.

"They observed an individual they believed may have been the subject and that individual was armed with a knife," Ramsey said.

"The officers took all appropriate action and precautions for the safety of all involved until they could determine that this was not the man they were looking for."

Ramsey said the incident is under investigation by the Correction Department's security division.East Hartford police are conducting their own investigation into the incident, spokesman Officer Hugo Benettieri said today. Benettieri said East Hartford police were called to the scene to assist the state parole officers. Local police did not arrive until after the parole officers had entered the home, Benettieri said. Benettieri said an officer visited the Davidson home Wednesday to discuss the incident and the damage. Had East Hartford police been the ones to enter the home, Benettieri said, the town's Department of Public Works would have gone to the home the same day to repair the damage.

Because state parole officers were the lead agency, Benettieri said, he could not comment on how the state would handle the damage. Despite the harrowing experience, Troy Davidson said he has no intention to sue the town or the state.

Troy Davidson said he simply wants an apology and to have his two doors fixed. Saying that he had considered taking out his shotgun when he heard the intrusion, Troy Davidson said it was fortunate that nobody was seriously injured.

©Journal Inquirer 2005

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The parole officers should be charged with home invasion and for other crimes. NO ONE should be above the law, including elected and unelected officials.

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