The Prince George’s Sheriff was investigating the delivery of marijuana on July 31, 2008. A pot package would normally not be viewed as the equivalent to the Lindburgh kidnapping, but you would not know it from the reaction of the Prince George’s sheriff’s office. They sent in a SWAT team to the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo. The team proceeded to shoot the two black labradors at the home, bust through the door, and handcuff the the mayor (who was in his underwear) and his mother-in-law. They were questioned for hours while their dogs laid nearby in pools of blood. It turned out to be a mistake — the smugglers were probably just using their address to pick up the package off the porch — a common practice.
The package was addressed to Calvo’s wife, Trinity Tomsi. What is particularly strange about the over-the-top response is that it is common to use other people’s addresses and names for such shipments. Indeed, in February, a package from Arizona (as in this case) was sent to a 76-year-old Dunn Loring resident filled with pot.
Given this common practice, shooting pets and busting through doors seems rather extreme. A police spokesman explained that deputies “apparently felt threatened” and thus decided to kill the pets. The first to die was 7-year-old Payton. The second dog, 4-year-old Chase, was so scared that it ran away and had to be shot from behind. In the meantime, the police kept the mayor handcuffed in his underwear with his mother-in-law near the dead dogs in pools of blood.
Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy (who was not informed of the raid) is irate and says that it is ridiculous to suggest that they could not have simply knocked on the door of the mayor and entered the dwelling before shooting animals and handcuffing occupants.
Of course, at least unlike a mistaken recent raid in Minneapolis there is no plan for ciiations for bravery.