A Minnesota sheriff’s captain is accusing a local television news station of lying when it reported that a group of deputies raided the wrong home last week, terrorizing an innocent family, including two 6-year-olds, before walking across the street to arrest the man they were seeking.
But when asked to explain how Fox 9 reported an “erroneous story,” Olmsted County Sheriff’s Captain Scott Behrns said it boiled down to a case of semantics.
Specifically with the word “raid.”
Instead, he made it sound as if the family warmly invited the armed deputies into their home after learning they only wanted to “secure the residence.”
Behrn pointed out it was not a raid because they did not have a warrant.
“We feel the use of the term ‘raided” is extremely inappropriate and does no reflect what took place in this situation,” he says in the video interview with the Post Bulletin, which is posted below.
“It should be noted that we were let into the residence by the occupants. We did not force our way in in any way, shape or form.”
It was around 7 a.m. when the entire family was pulled out of bed.
“I’m 31 years old, I’ve worked at the same place for fifteen years, I have no criminal record, not even a speeding ticket,” Schunk said.
After about fifteen minutes, Schunk says authorities realized they had the wrong house — “He came in and said, we’re sorry, thanks for cooperating and told my kids we weren’t criminals and that was it.”
The guy they were after lives across the street and three houses down. It was there that authorities recovered thousands in stolen property and charged 37-year-old Todd Black with burglary.
“You would think they would run the address and look into who was the owner before entering someone’s property,” Schunk said.
Schunk was originally told they were led to his house by a tracking device on a stolen phone. But he has yet to see the warrant that allowed them inside his house.
Behrns, who called a press conference earlier, apparently not even inviting Fox 9, said they were at the residence for less than ten minutes, instead of the reported 15 minutes.
He also said they gave Schunk’s kids “junior deputy” stickers as a sign of “good will.” And, he said, one of the residents even high-fived a deputy, thanking them for keeping them safe.
However, Behrns confirmed Fox 9’s original report that deputies were led to Schunk’s residence because an app on the victim’s smartphone determined a stolen computer was at that address.
He also said that they had been monitoring the family’s home when a young man and woman emerged from the backyard wearing backpacks, which they found suspicious, prompting them to detain and question them.
However, the couple told deputies that they were only using the yard to cut through to a friend’s house from another yard, so they were released.
But Behrns was sure to tell the media that the man and woman displayed “behavior consistent with narcotics use,” which he said, gave them even more justification to enter the Schunk home.
But despite having all these suspicions that the Schunk family was involved in criminal activity, Behrns made it sound as if they had gently knocked on the door and were invited inside for breakfast, being sure to wipe their feet before coming inside and handing out stickers while high-fiving family members.
Local officials are taking issue with a Twin Cities television news story that claimed deputies raided the wrong house in Rochester last week while tracking a burglary suspect.
“That is an erroneous story,” said Olmsted County Sheriff’s Capt. Scott Behrns. “We’re not giving a statement today about that report, because we need to deal with Fox 9 first.”
“I’m literally stunned that a reputable news organization would run a story like that,” Behrns said this morning, but declined to comment further.
In the video interview, Behrns accused Fox 9 of “creating a disturbance between law enforcement and the public.” Not much different than how the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in Texas asked its Facebook followers to call flood a local television station, accusing them of unethical reporting because they published a video showing deputies killing an unarmed man with his hands in the air.
Monday night, less than a week after Olmsted deputies entered the Schunk home, police in Georgia also entered the wrong home in search for a burglary suspect.
But those cops ended up killing a dog, shooting the homeowner as well as shooting on of their own officers.
However, just for the sake of accuracy, that was also not a raid because they simply allowed themselves in through an unlocked back door before opening fire on the dog and its owner.