SWAT Invades the Wrong House and Causes $16,000 in Damages

(NewsReady.com) – An Indiana woman has been left with massive, expensive damage to her home after cops looking for a fugitive raided the wrong address. The woman says she was forced out of her home for days after the assault, and when she returned, many of her possessions were destroyed. Just to make things worse, government agencies are refusing to compensate her for their mistake.

In June 2022, cops from the South Bend and St. Joseph’s County police departments were searching for fugitive John Parnell Thomas, who, despite being on the run, was still going online and posting on Facebook. It seemed the search was over on June 10 when they identified the IP address he was logging on from and tracked it to what they thought was a physical location. That location was a suburban home in South Bend, and despite the flimsy evidence that Thomas was actually there—IP addresses often don’t show precise locations, and they can also be spoofed by Virtual Private Network (VPN) software—a judge granted a search warrant. SWAT teams from the two departments then executed that warrant violently.

Amy Hadley and her daughter weren’t at home when police surrounded their house, but Hadley’s 15-year-old son was. When police with a bullhorn ordered him to come out with his hands up, he complied, and the cops immediately realized he wasn’t the fugitive, but they cuffed him and took him to the station anyway. The officers then fired tear gas and flash bangs into the empty house before storming it.

Hadley, who had never even heard of Thomas, says the house was left uninhabitable for days by gas residue, and officers caused widespread damage as they searched it. Curtains, mirrors, paneling, and her son’s Xbox console were among the items destroyed. In total, there was $16,000 worth of damage.

Hadley’s insurer paid part of the cost of repairs, but when she contacted city and county authorities to discuss compensation, they didn’t even reply. She’s now suing the city of South Bend, the county commissioners, and both police departments in an attempt to get them to finally compensate her for smashing their way into her life.

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