Police raid Morrisonville family’s home in search of fugitive with no connection to the family
(ANDREA VanVALKENBURG) A Morrisonville woman says she was shocked when armed police stormed her property looking for a fugitive with no connection to her family.
“We were so floored. It was like something you see on TV,” Patty Breyette said.
One day last week, she was enjoying a day off and eating lunch with her husband, Robert, when they heard their dogs bark and spotted a line of police cruisers coming up their driveway.
The couple walked to their front lawn “as police ran by us with bullet-proof vests and automatic rifles into our backyard,” she said.
“I was flipping out, shaking so bad. I didn’t know what was going on. I was yelling at them, saying, ‘This is ridiculous.'”
Authorities then explained they were there to question Mr. Breyette in connection with an ongoing search for a con artist, who has apparently used his identity.
The couple have had problems in the past with debt collectors and others looking for that same man. And though they were glad to have the situation explained, Mrs. Breyette felt the unexpected police action could have been handled differently.
They voluntarily allowed police to search their home, but the police, Mrs. Breyette said, treated them like common criminals.
“They looked everywhere; in our showers, in our closets, everywhere. And at first, they were just so rude, but at the end they apologized. I was just so mad and upset. They could have looked into references or asked around about who we were, but they didn’t.
“I mean, what justification did they have to do this? I kept saying ‘You’re embarrassing us. Don’t you think our neighbors see a SWAT team at our house? We haven’t done anything wrong.'”
Mrs. Breyette said she was supposed to baby-sit her young grandson that day and would have feared for his safety had he been there during the chaotic situation.
‘NEVER SO MAD’
A deputy U.S. marshal familiar with the incident called it a routine interview, noting that authorities were following a lead in the investigation and had to confirm the couple’s identity, since the fugitive has apparently used Mr. Breyette’s Social Security number.
Officials said the wanted person has an extensive criminal history, which is why they went to the Breyettes’ home with multiple officers to ensure everyone’s safety.
The Breyettes have now been ruled out as having any connection to the wanted person, authorities said.
Mrs. Breyette was glad the ordeal is over and hopes it will never happen again.
“I’ve never been so mad in my life. I’m still just so upset about it.”