Monday, March 12, 2007

Home Invasion Update

An update to this story- to recap, a police officer and unidentified man entered the home of a sleeping couple without waking them and without a warrant and proceeded directly to the bedroom of their daughter where they pulled the bed covers off of her. The couple complained to the police department about the incident and when they received no answers, filed suit. The Sheriff refused to comment, only stating that they had a good reason to invade someone's home like that.

The case has now been examined further and the police officer in question has been found to have been "justified" in his "search". No charges have been filed against him or the man with him.

According to Branscom, Wood was justified in entering the home given all the circumstances: complaints of possible underage drinking, no answer to his repeated knocks on the door, sounds of movement in the garage, a father worried about his unaccounted-for 16-year-old daughter and the possibility that she was inside the Hunsbergers' home.

There are some niggling little details about this that bother me- not least of which is the fact that the police officer took a civilian into the home with him on his search and that they claim that the 10 year old girl was not frightened when they woke her so abruptly. This is from the family's lawyer-

"All I can say is, imagine a 10-year-old girl asleep in bed and two grown men standing over her and pulling the covers off her, and she is having a lucid conversation with them," Grimes said. "I don't think that 10-year-old girl exists. Not on this planet, anyway."

I'd tend to agree- I wouldn't wake calmly if I found two men in my room.

Another thing that puzzles me greatly is this-

"Entry to the house occurred only after Sgt. Wood and the [16-year-old] girl's father heard someone move through the garage into the basement, slam the door and ignore the father's plea to see his daughter," Branscom wrote in a detailed five-page account of what happened that night.

Note the phrase garage and basement- yet the cop and civilian still managed to enter the home (without waking the parents) and proceed directly upstairs to the young girl's bedroom. Why didn't they go to the garage/basement where they thought the party was supposed to be taking place?

And if they were sure enough that a 16 year old girl was at the party, why then did they leave without asking to see if she was in fact in the garage or basement?

After the police finally left, Cheryl Hunsberger went downstairs and told the teens "the cops are gone" and they could come out, Branscom's summary states. And about 3 the same morning, Cheryl Hunsberger dropped the 16-year-old off at the driveway of her home, where her father had returned still not knowing where she was, according to the summary.

The home invasion took place shortly after midnight and yet the father of the "missing" girl was apparently happy enough to not search further than the 10 year old's bedroom upstairs for his own child?

1 comment:

hairy hobbit said...

Well, I hope the cop gets someone killed doing crap like that. I can't wait to see the city argue it was OK in court.

It's just unbelievable!