October 5, 2006

WRONG-HOUSE DRUG RAIDS ARE BAD ENOUGH, but here’s a wrong-house annoyance-call raid:

For a 67-year-old homeowner and his wife, wrongly subjected to a shattering pornography search, saying, “Oops, wrong number” is not enough.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich apologized Tuesday for the blunder, which he said resulted when Detective Timothy Hines tried to nail whoever was responsible for obscene calls to at least 20 women enrolled at Whitworth College.

Hines wrote down the wrong figures for a telephone number associated with the calls, and he obtained a search warrant for a house in Spokane, miles from the correct location in suburban Spokane Valley, Knezovich said.

The irate homeowner told The Spokesman-Review, which did not identify him at his request, that deputies dumped out drawers, went through his wallet and checkbook, seized computers, CDs, floppy disks, VHS tapes and other material and refused to clean up the mess in the raid Sept. 27.

A half-dozen sheriff’s vehicles converged on the house, and after taking photos outside, Hines told officers within hearing of the neighbors, “Now let’s go inside and get some porn,” the owner said.

Inside, the man said, a female deputy “giggled” about remarks at his expense.

“It’s like the gang that can’t do it right,” he said. “They shoot themselves in the foot, and then they all come to make peace.

“What would you do if somebody came to your door and ripped your whole house apart, turned everything upside down and said you are a porno freak?”

You ought to be able to sue for damages, with no bar from official immunity, and recover attorney’s fees if you win. (Via MBS).

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