Indiana police SWAT wrong home over open wifi network

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, June 28, 2012 13:00 EDT
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A police SWAT team. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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An unsecured wifi network triggered a SWAT team raid on the wrong home in Evansville, Indiana last week after officers began investigating specific threats made in an online forum.

As it turns out, nobody inside the home made those threats, which apparently came from someone who simply accessed their network. But that didn’t stop police from gearing up for the raid blocks away and inviting a local reporter and cameraman to tag along.

In the video aired later by Evansville’s Eyewitness News, police can be seen throwing multiple flashbang grenades into the family home, where 18-year-old Stephanie Milan was reportedly watching The Food Network and lounging on the couch, then smashing their screen door before charging in.

Neither Milan nor her immediate family members had criminal records, but police said that their records indicated at least one member of their extended family did. They have all since been cleared without charges, and not a single one of them was ultimately arrested at the scene.

The nature of the threats, too, seems to have been a factor in their hasty decision. A poster in an Evansville forum on the website Topix.com Those threats included personal information about police officers’ families, and the poster claimed to possess explosives.

Police told The Evansville Courier & Press on Wednesday that the threat was likely made by someone else who lives on the street, but the investigation is ongoing.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

(H/T: Ars Technica)

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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