Lawsuit: SWAT Officers Dragged 10-Year-Old from Bathtub, Made Him Stand Naked Next to 4-Year-Old Sister, Terrorized Family
(ALTERNET) Pittsburgh SWAT officers must face claims that they raided a family’s home, violently dragged a child from the bathtub, and “terrorized” them at gunpoint, a federal judge ruled. Georgeia Moreno and her family sued Pittsburgh, its police chief and 14 police officers in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The events unfolded as Georgeia, her husband, William; and her stepfather, Mark Staymates were watching television in their living room as Georgia’s sick mother, Darlene, slept upstairs at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2010. They suddenly heard a loud explosion and saw bright lights, “as if grenades were going off,” the complaint states. Pittsburgh Police SWAT officers wearing helmets and facemasks then broke and “stormed through” the front and back doors of the home, according to the complaint. Those officers allegedly never identified themselves, pointed assault rifles at the family, shouted obscenities and destroyed their property. Although the team purportedly sought to arrest William for quarreling with a drunk, off-duty police officer at a local veterans club early that morning, the family says that their “terrorization” continued for another 45 minutes after William was apprehended. The officers threw to the floor, kicked and handcuffed Georgeia, her stepfather and her adult son Billy. They also injured Mark’s shoulder and forced Billy to lie face down in broken glass, according to the complaint. When Georgeia pleaded repeatedly that she had young children in the house, at least one officer allegedly stated, “You think you can get one of ours, and we won’t get one of yours?