Pubdate: Tue, 15 May 2007
Source: Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
Copyright: 2007 Asheville Citizen-Times
Author: Jon Ostendorff


Hendersonville - Police Chief Donnie Parks acknowledged Monday that a
SWAT team "erroneously entered the wrong residence" when it stormed a
home early Saturday morning.

Sandra Braswell said officers threw two smoke grenades into her house
at 208 N. Oak St. about 1:30 a.m. Saturday while her 16-year-old
grandson and six of his friends were having a party on the back porch.

Officers with guns drawn ordered her and the teenagers to the floor
while threatening her 11-year-old granddaughter, she said.

"He grabbed her on her top and said, 'I said get on the floor,'"
Braswell said. "And she said, 'OK, OK.' Her voice was trembling. And
they got her down on the floor with her hands behind her back."

Braswell said they were forced to lie there for about 10 minutes
before the officers got a call realizing their mistake. They had
intended to raid a home on Geneva Street, which is one street behind
her house, she said.

"I couldn't say nothing, with my hands up in the air and all these
kids in here on the floor," Braswell said. "One of the kids laying
across from me, cop got a gun pointed to his head."

Parks in a statement issued Monday pledged to hand out discipline. He
said officers were trying to execute a search warrant after getting
complaints of illegal drug sales in the area.

"The department regrets this error and acknowledges the error of its
officers as well as the fact there was property damage as well as a
claim of personal injury to one party," Parks said in the statement.

Police said Parks would not answer questions other than what was in
the statement.

Braswell said the statement is not enough. She said she would like
Parks to either apologize to her and her family in person or on television.

"What's wrong with my family that he can't come and apologize to us,"
she said. "He owes me an apology."

Park's statement said, "The department has a legal and moral
obligation to take measures to make appropriate restitution and is
prepared to do so."

Braswell filed a written complaint with the department

The suspect wanted in the raid, 34-year-old James Darden, was
arraigned Monday on felony charges of selling and delivering cocaine.

He was being held in lieu of $15,000 bond.

Braswell said part of her fence is broken, an interior door was
knocked of its hinges and there is a burn mark on her floor from the
smoke grenade.

She said she has not stayed at the house since the raid.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek