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11 December 2008

"Oops, Wrong House," Says Gwinnett County Police Department

Some police departments still have much to learn when it comes to the execution of no-knock warrants.

Wednesday morning, officers with the Gwinnett County Police Department stormed the home of John Lewis in a futile search for a suspected meth distributor.

"They came in here and put guns to us. The house was full of police," Lewis said. "I’ve never had a gun in my face before. I’ve never even held a gun."

He said that he and [girlfried Heather]James, who was in a nightgown, were ordered at gunpoint to lie on the floor. When he tried to ask what they wanted, Louis said, he was told to “shut up.”
[Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Gwinnett police break down wrong door", December 10, 2008]

According to Lewis, the cops realized their mistake once they saw a three-month-old baby in the house. They then apologized to Louis and proceeded to raid another house (probably three doors down) where the right person, Efrain Pedruza, was arrested and $24,000 in cash seized.

Somebody could have been hurt.

If John Lewis was the type of person who felt that if someone breaks into my house, I'm going to shoot first and ask questions later, then this raid might have ended in tragedy. Fortunately, all we have here is a ticked-off resident that has to replace a broken down door.