A sheriff’s SWAT team and the FBI apparently ransacked a Florida family’s home in a wrong-house raid – and then refused to pay for the damages until contacted by the media.
After smashing windows, battering doors and trashing Oscar Capps’ home, deputies arrested a man who was in the next-door house.
“We don’t even know the gentleman’s name that they arrested,” Capps’ wife, Cathy Rhude, told WFTV.
Neither Rhude nor Capps were arrested.
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“They told me they had it as my address, that they had a federal warrant to go inside my house, and I told them, ‘I’ll let you in. I don’t have a problem letting you in,’” Capps said.
The Orange County (Florida) Sheriff’s SWAT team, working under direction of the FBI, crashed into his home at around 6 a.m. on a Thursday morning in late October, breaking down doors and shattering windows. They also damaged a new $3,000 floor. About 40 law enforcement personnel were involved.
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At first, the FBI told the family and the TV station it would not pay for the damages.
“They are saying there is nothing they are going to do for me,” Capps said. “They are going to send somebody out to board up the windows and put a door on. So where do I go from here?”
Said Rhude, “I’m really upset, I have a 7-year-old kid. He needs doors, he needs windows. They’re not replacing anything. This is the correct address they have. Prove it to me that this is the correct address.”
The FBI sent Capps a claim form for damages after WFTV contacted the agency. Still, the agency deflected any blame.
“The FBI had a valid arrest and search warrant for 2835 Cleburne Road,” an FBI email sent to WFTV reporter Jeff Levkulich said. “At the time of serving the warrant, the person of interest was located next door.”
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