WPD apologizes after botched raid

By Amy Cherry/Frank Gerace 5:50pm, October 4, 2012 - Updated 8:56am, October 5, 2012
Wilmington Police are apologizing for a botched raid after they barged into a Middletown home early Thursday morning executing a search warrant for a person of interest in a murder.

It turns out the person they wanted hadn't lived there in at least four years.

Jennifer Tuppeny tells WDEL her husband was handcuffed, and she was scared to death.

"They were all covered in black, but they were guns with lasers. They woke me up, literally pointing a gun at me, telling me to go 'Get up, get my daughter, and get downstairs,'" says Tuppeny.

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Wilmington Police Officer Mark Ivey calls in the incident "unfortunate."

"Chief of Police Michael Szczerba has extended his apologies on behalf of the department for this unfortunate situation, and obviously, this is not something that we would ever want to put someone through," says Ivey.

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Police have offered to fix the front door they broke. But Tuppeny says she'll still be pursuing legal action.

"The most important thing is my daughter is traumatized," says Tuppeny.

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She also questions why her husband, who's white, was ever even handcuffed, since the man police were looking for was black.

"When they saw him outside in the garage at 6am, they should've questioned him before they rampaged my house knowing that he as Caucasian, and not African-American," Tuppeny says,

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But Ivey says officers were just following protocol.

"Anytime we're executing a search warrant it's a high-risk situation, and we need to ensure officer's safety, and the protocol, and it's always this protocol, is to secure all individuals prior to addressing other concerns," says Ivey.

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The person of interest in the murder case was later taken into custody at a home in Smyrna.

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