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St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office Detective Unit mistakenly raids wrong home

Posted at 6:09 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 17:46:33-04

GRAND COTEAU, La. — The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office could be facing a lawsuit after deputies broke down the wrong door in an early morning raid. The Sheriff's Office blames miscommunication and has apologized.

However, Heather Walker, who lives at the home, says that isn't enough.

"I understand mistakes happen," Walker said. "But this type of mistake shouldn't have happened."

The Sheriff's Office's Detective Unit had a "no knock warrant" to search a home in a stolen weapons case.

The Detectives Unit went inside Walker's home and left behind some damage.

"Discovered that my front door was bust open and all my belongings were everywhere," Walker said. "I was devastated. My apartment was a mess."

Walker says her door was left off the hinges, an iPad cracked, and clothes were everywhere.

She was at work and came home to find a warrant for another house.

"Search warrant said a different address than my lease," Walker said.

St. Landry Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says the raid was intended for a missing weapons case that involved juveniles who live in Grand Coteau, as does Walker.

"Arndauville Police Department called us to assist them with a juvenile investigation regarding stolen weapons," Guidroz said.

"The information we received was there were three juveniles involved in stealing weapons from the Arnaudville city limits. We secured a no knock search warrant from the district court. We called the Grand Coteau Police Department to announce to them that we were coming with a search warrant and we needed assistance with finding the residence."

Guidroz confirms miscommunication was to blame.

"We were led there and I don't want to blame the Grand Coteau Police Department, but we were taken to that address and assured that this was the place where we needed to be," Guidroz said.

KATC reached out to Grand Coteau Police. However, the chief disputes his officers were to blame. He directed us back to the Sheriff's Office.

"We did everything by the book," Guidroz said. "We were led there, not knowing that this was not the residence."

As for the damage at Walker's home, "They replaced the door. Put brand new locks on it. That's it," she said. "The door frame still cracked, bent in. I just don't feel safe at home."

Walker worries some damage won't be repaired. "Just overcome the fear of policemen just kicking down the door and getting away with it," Walker said.

According to KATC's legal analyst, cases like this are normally settled out of court. If a suit is filed, the deputies who did the actual raid could be held responsible for the damage.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says he's paid for two doors to be fixed and disputes any other damages.