CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police apologized and promised to make repairs, after breaking down the door of the wrong home while conducting a raid Tuesday afternoon on the South Side.
Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, offices raided the first-floor apartment of a building near 52nd and Wells in the Fuller Park neighborhood. They damaged the front door in the process, handcuffed three people inside, then tore through the family’s belongings before discovering they’d entered the wrong home.
Police said the officers went to the address listed on a warrant, but the paperwork had the wrong information.
“We conduct hundreds of raids every week, and we depend on different avenues in order to obtain that information. So when we do hit a wrong house, listen, that’s not a good thing,” Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Wednesday morning. “We just have to do better at ensuring that where we’re getting that information from is legitimate, and we just have to do a better job of ensuring that we are hitting the right place.”
The raid traumatized Terricky Pender and her three children, including her son, Trezelle Island, who said he thought it was a robber breaking in.
“I just heard a big boom, breaking straight through the door and my little brother, he had ran to the back,” he said.
But the people who broke in were in uniform, and came armed with a search warrant.
“They told me and him to go to the back; go back and lay down on the ground. Put handcuffs on the back, and then told us don’t move, and put their guns up,” Island said.
His sister, Janelle, also was home at the time.
“When they told me to come out, they told me to put my hands behind my back and put handcuffs on me,” she said.
It turned out the paperwork for the raid had the wrong address.
Police apologized, but it was hardly the first time officers raided the wrong home.
On Christmas weekend, they busted down the wrong door in the middle of the night at Shanae Cross’ house near 82nd and Marquette. In that case, police said officers “inadvertently breached the door of the incorrect residence.”
In March, officers stormed the wrong apartment in Lawndale, breaking down the door of the wrong apartment in a building on the 2700 block of West Flournoy Avenue.
In May, officers pointed guns at an innocent teen inside a Woodlawn home, but had raided the wrong apartment.
Terricky Pender said she didn’t know Tuesday’s raid was the fourth time in six months Chicago police broke into the wrong home.
“I know it happened to somebody, but I didn’t know it was the fourth time,” she said. “The only thing I want them to do is come and fix my door right about now.”
The Police Department has said it will expedite the claims process to pay for repairs to Pender’s home.
“It’s not a good thing. We do everything we can to ensure that we correct that mistake, and repair those people’s property as soon as we can,” Johnson said.