Reporting Bernie Tafoya
Updated: Oct. 8, 2010, 5:51 p.m.
CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS 2) - The Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department will apologize in person and pay for damages caused last night when sheriff’s police mistakenly raided the home of an elderly couple on the city’s Southwest Side.
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Sheriff’s police reportedly busted into the home of Anna Jakymec, 84, and her husband Andrij, 89, at 56th Street and Kilbourn Avenue, after receiving a tip there were drugs in the home. Andrij Jakymec suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
The couple says 20 officers burst in Thursday night, breaking down doors, destroying furniture and screaming.
“They broke everything. Our garbage (was) knocked down, my garage; the window knocked, everything,” Anna Jakymec said. “They knocked at one door, second door.”
She told CBS 2′s Dorothy Tucker that police did not need to break down her doors. She would have opened the door if officers had rung their doorbell.
“They should not break the door. They should rang the bell. … But nobody say nothing. They broke there, they broke here, run in. I thought they going kill me.”
She was able to laugh about the police raid at her home on Friday, but Thursday night she was terrified.
Anna Jakymec was at home with her husband, Andrij Jakymec, who suffers from terminal cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Her son, who arrived later, said that around midnight Thursday night, Cook County Sheriff’s officers burst into the house.
“The screen door was yanked off with a crow bar, and then a ram was put through here,” Andrew Jakymec said.
He said police tore apart everything looking for drugs. The son said the most potent drug in the home is aspirin. He estimates damage to the home at around $3,000.
The police had been given information the house belonged to a 23-year old drug dealer and that there was cocaine, crystal meth, money and drugs in the home.
Andrew Jakymec said his parents “don’t know what cocaine is, what meth is”.
So how did the sheriff’s officers end up raiding the wrong house? Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wasn’t available Friday afternoon to answer that question.
But his office defended the action, saying they had received a tip from a confidential informant about illegal activity happening at the house.
The sheriff’s office provided the information to prosecutors and judges, and received a warrant to raid the home, according to a news release.
“As soon as we entered the home, we knew this couple was not involved in the activity alleged,” the sheriff’s office release said. “Our officers immediately requested the assistance of an interpreter and, as a precautionary measure, a medic, while also asking the couple to contact a relative who could assist in the situation.”
“What I say? ‘Thank you sir, don’t do no more break the door, you people, because it’s very wrong,” Jakymec said.
Sheriff’s police said they’re investigating what went wrong and working with the family to cover the cost of the damages from the raid.
The informant who led the sheriff’s department about the home has previously provided credible information, officials said.
The sheriff’s office also emphasized that their Gangs and Narcotics Unit has served more than 500 search warrants, and “it is incredibly rare that those searches have resulted in this sort of outcome.”
WBBM Newsradio 780′s Bernie Tafoya and CBS 2′s Dorothy Tucker contributed to this report.