- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Jacksonville, Fla., homeowner said she was ordered out of her house by members of a SWAT team who were responding to an incident at a neighbor’s residence.

“The cop goes ‘You all need to leave, you can’t be in your house,’” Deborah Franz said, describing the SWAT team response to her next-door neighbor’s loud fighting, to a local station. She did leave — for the whole six hours standoff that ensued between SWAT agents and someone in her neighbor’s home. Afterward, officers cleared the scene and allowed her to access her home.

What she found shocked her.

“I … came in the door and I stopped. I froze, because I realized somebody had messed with my TV,” Ms. Franz said, the local television station reported. But not just her television.

She reported her game console and television had been unplugged and relocated, her blinds were opened and the blankets she had hung for decorations on the wall had been thrown to the floor. Yet nothing was missing, and Ms. Franz concluded that the police had created the mess.

“They were the last people I [saw] around my house,” she said, The Blaze reported. She called police to confirm. And the officer told her: “Yeah, Ms. Franz, my men did come in your house,” she said, The Blaze reported.

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The police didn’t have a warrant or permission to enter the home, Ms. Franz said.

An attorney interviewed by the local station said that “it seems [police] only entered into the home to gain a tactical advantage. I think if there’s any violation that would probably be it.”

Ms. Franz didn’t launch an immediate lawsuit, but said she’d like an apology for the ordeal, which ultimately ended with the suspects getting away, according to The Blaze.

“If you’re going to come in my home and use my home, at least let me know or at least try to contact me,” she said, The Blaze reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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