The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has apologized to a Massachusetts woman after they used a chainsaw to cut open her door and then forced her to lay in dog urine -- only to discover they had the wrong apartment.
Judy Sanchez said that she and her daughter were asleep in her Fitchburg apartment last Thursday morning when she was woken up by pounding outside the door.
"I just happened to glance over and saw this huge chainsaw ripping down the side of my door," she told WBZ-TV in Boston. “And I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on.”
Moments later, agents were swarming inside her aparment.
"That’s when I heard the clicking of a gun and I heard ‘FBI, get down!’, so I laid right on down," she recalled. "And they said get your dog, so I got her and at the same time I am laying in her urine because she did pee on herself at the same time."
She stayed in that position for over 30 minutes as her daughter screamed from the other room.
Eventually the agents came to the realization that the suspect they were after was in apartment 2F, but they had mistakenly entered apartment 2R.
"The looks on their faces when they knew they got the wrong door was priceless," Sanchez said. “They looked at each other dumbfounded.”
She acknowledged that an agent did come by to apologize the next day, but said it wasn't enough.
"I was expecting at least a sit-down and an explanation," Sanchez told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. "Hey, I would have liked a hug at the time."
A week later, she is sleeping with a baseball bat and her daughter remains traumatized.
"Every time someone knocks, she runs and hides behind me," Sanchez explained. “And she says, ‘They’re going to knock the door down. They’re going to knock the door down.’”
The FBI raid was part of Operation Red Wolf, a two-year investigation into gang-related drug and weapons activity. The operation has resulted in at least 22 indictments so far, including 16 arrests on the day they mistakenly chainsawed into apartment 2R.
The FBI did eventually arrest 41-year-old Luis Vasquez, who lives in apartment 2F. Sanchez said that she never saw any gang-related activity around Vasquez, recalling that he would often cook out with his children in the back yard.
“I didn’t see the bad guy everyone is talking about,” she remarked.
Watch this video from WBZ-TV, broadcast Jan. 27, 2012.
(H/T: Jonathan Turley)