LAS VEGAS (CN) – North Las Vegas police blew up a family’s door in a raid on the wrong house, then failed to fix the door as they promised, causing the home to be burglarized repeatedly, the family says in Federal Court. Jose Cruz says he, his wife and three young children – 8, 5 and 3 years old – were “scared to death” when a North Las Vegas SWAT team raided their home.
The botched raid came in the early morning hours of Feb. 4, 2008. The police apparently were searching for three armed-robbery suspects – all of them “black males.”
Cruz says he had just got out of bed and was still in his underwear when cops ordered him to the floor at gunpoint. He says the officers grabbed him and dragged him 15 feet through the house, “in front of his wife and children, out the front door into the freezing cold.”
The officers then herded his wife and the three “underdressed” children out into the cold.
After realizing they had the wrong house, Cruz says the officers promised that the City of North Las Vegas would pay for a new door and other damaged items – but it didn’t happen.
“As a result of not having a door, the family home has been burglarized several times,” according to the complaint.
Cruz says the bungled raid subjected his family to shame and humiliation, and his children “live in fear that at any moment they will be subjected to the same incident … except the next time might be by those that will not hesitate to pull the trigger.”
Cruz says his family’s 4th, 5th and 15th Amendment rights were violated, and seeks at least $200,000 in damages.
The family is represented by Joseph Scalia.