Federal Marshals Raid Woman’s Home After She Screams And Hides From Officer Pointing Gun At Her Through Window

woman2-230x300200px-U.S._Marshals_knock_and_announceWe have been discussing the increased powers claimed by police in searching homes without warrants under claims of exigent circumstances or hot pursuit, including the right to search an entire area of a city. Sarasota Florida resident Louise Goldsberry came face to face with these powers recently after eating dinner. The nurse was at her kitchen sink when she looked out the window facing a man in a hunting vest pointing a gun in her face. She dropped to the floor and started screaming and then thing got really bad. (The picture on the right is of a different “knock and announce” raid by the Marshals and local police).

Goldsberry crawled into her bedroom and retrieved her gun. She has a permit for the .38 caliber revolver. She and her boyfriend then heard a man screaming at the front door. The man was, according to the couple, screaming profanities and saying that he was police. They did not believe him given his dress and his vulgar language. When her boyfriend asked for identification, they say the men simply screamed “We’re the f—- police; open the f—- door!” The couple staying huddled on the floor in fear as an unidentified man pushed through the door. A man screamed at her to “Drop the f—- gun or I’ll f—- shoot you.” The couple was pulled outside, handcuffed, and left for about 30 minutes. Men poured into the apartment. They then took off the handcuffs and left.

Police later explained that the man at the door was Matt Wiggins of the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive division and the police were searching for a suspect, Kyle Riley. They received a tip that he was somewhere inside the apartment complex. Based on that tip, they proceeded to raid the apartment complex. They had no reason to believe that he was in Goldsberry’s apartment. When asked why the raid on the apartment given the lack of information on his whereabouts, Wiggins is quoted as saying “Nobody in the other units reacted that way.”

So, police can show up in what looks like a hunting vest at a kitchen window and point a gun into the face of a woman. If she screams and crawls away, that is sufficient to bust into the apartment, drag the occupants outside, and handcuff them in public. Wiggins also said that she admits that she knew that they were the police when Goldsberry has denied she knew who the man was at the window or at their door. Wiggins is also quoted as saying that, since she was not simply shot for pointing a gun at an officer, “She sure shouldn’t be going to the press.”

By the way, suspect, Kyle Riley, was arrested hours later in another part of Sarasota.

In his insistence that there really is nothing to report or see in his story, Marshal Wiggins by the way should not be confused with Chief Wiggum:

Source: Herald Tribune

53 thoughts on “Federal Marshals Raid Woman’s Home After She Screams And Hides From Officer Pointing Gun At Her Through Window”

  1. Been pondering this since I read it yesterday….. If I recall Gene had a posting, blog about the scope of the Feds….. I suppose all of Florida is within the 100 miles of an international border…… Sick puppies…

  2. Police departments are becoming increasingly isolated from the communities they serve and increasingly indifferent to the rights of residents of those communities. And in this case, Mr. Wiggins appears to have some issues with mental and emotional stability. I have no doubt that he would not have hesitated in using deadly force against two innocent people had they not promptly complied with his commands. From the standpoint of the victims, this could just as easily have been a home invasion. Opening the door was an act of faith.

    1. @Mike Appleton – Marshall Wiggins was not a local Sarasota police officer. He was from the federal US Marshall Service. A rapist had escaped from jail and they got a tip that he was holed up in this woman’s apartment complex. They had knocked on almost everybody’s door and everyone complied and opened up and volunteered for a warrant-less search. This lady (who could be seen inside her kitchen window) refused to open the door. Wiggins incorrectly thought they were being held hostage by the assumed armed and dangerous escapee.

      So Wiggins comes up to the window with his camo-colored Kevlar vest aiming his H&K at whomever he saw in the window thinking it would intimidate the bad guy to come out. He uses some colorful metaphors to further the intimidation. She drops down to the floor which just makes things worse for Wiggin’s imagination.

      Then they decide to ram the door. She and her sufficient-other decide to arm up with a pistol. When USMS forcibly enter they already have their H&K’s aimed and their tactical stinger flashlights mounted on the pistols. Obviously they had the lights out in the apartment. However, Wiggins saw the dude aiming the pistol at him and didn’t automatically shoot him. He used some colorful metaphors to make him put it down. I mean he could have been the bad-guy in a low light scenario. Fortunately Wiggins had a good photo of the bad-guy.

      So in summary, did Wiggins screw up? Well kinda’ I think he did. He made too many false assumptions. The bad-guy was caught miles away. Did he use sound judgment? IMO NO. He should have called hi supervisor for direction and not make tactical judgment calls. I would not blame the Marshall service. I just blame Wiggins who may have been in rogue-cop mode (kinda’ like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry?). He’ll be riding his desk (with pay) for a few weeks while the IG investigates.

  3. I would suggest it be time we start prosecuting officers like this.
    The appropriate sentence would be as severe as any criminal would face. If we are to hold stiffer sentences for crimes committed against officers than it is only fitting that they be held to the same standards.

    He should go to prison for quite a few years.

  4. This sounds exactly like the rape case in Dubai. Cretins violate a woman, then SHE is arrested for being violated, for objecting to the violation.

  5. “Darren Smith: “I fail to see where the marshals had probable cause to believe the fugitive was actually in this woman’s apartment. A tip that the fugitive was in an apartment complex does not give them the authority to search every apartment. ”

    ‘We don’t need no probable cause’

    The police arrest people for walking by their stop, as we saw in a story a couple of days ago. The law enforcement communities seemingly have abandoned probable cause.

  6. Blouise 1, July 22, 2013 at 11:11 am


    ” …Saw that some gun group is going to buy Zimmerman a new fancy gun.”

    I wonder how they are going to get it to him as he and all his family members are in hiding. Do you think his lawyers will act as delivery boys?

    Admittedly this was not one of the USMS best moments. Agent Wiggins will probably be going through IG’s office on this one (Internal Affairs).

    But at least we can give them one big “addaboy!” on the GZ manuever today. I guess there was a truck rollover about 1 mile from RATL. Guess who flies in like superman to save the day? Yup’ it was GZ to the rescue! It was only witnessed by one LEO but it must have really happened.

    I guess some Einstein in USMS – WITSEC came up with that genius idea to help thwart the Black Panthers who are out looking for him. Yeah… GZ is still in town and close to home! Yeah right (LOL)

  7. The fed admitted that he had no probable cause to break into her home other than how she acted as opposed to how others acted. If she can find a lawyer skilled in civil rights litigation (few and far between) they would be well advised to sue the state actor (local cops) under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 for the civil rights violation. Fed cop is sued under a similar federal statute.
    She will be entitled to a jury in a federal court and in addition to actual damages she can get punitive damages and attorney fees.

    1. BarkinDog:

      I have recently filed a §1983 against county actors, for illegal law enforcement activities.
      These things go so slow, certainly no instant gratification like the cops get when they fk you over.

      But that is often the only get back available to the average citizen.

  8. For those upthread who suggest shooing at the officers, I got news for you. Try that and you will be carried by six instead of tried by twelve. Several guys in body armor, armed with pistols and 12-guage shotguns, trumps an armed homeowner every time.

  9. What Blouise said.

    The US Attorney’s office once consulted me and my colleague, a forensic psychiatrist. The case involved a mental patient, known to be potentially dangerous, who escaped from a Federal facility and wasn’t even missed until the next day. He raped and physically abused a women who lived near the facility. She filed a lawsuit against the facility and its supervisory staff for their lax security. The two psychiatrists in charge of his case were named co-defendants in the lawsuit against the government.

    The psychiatrists were the most uncooperative defendants I have ever seen. They did not want to meet with my colleague and me, or with their own attorney after 4:00 PM, because that was when they got off work. We were in a meeting, and they both looked at their watches and complained we were keeping them after hours. The US Attorney was furious with them. These two guys simply didn’t care. If they lost the lawsuit, the money would not come out of their pockets.

  10. I know about a dozen Federal Marshals, active and retired, and not a one of them is the least concerned about getting sued. They figure that’s a problem for the desk jockeys who make the big bucks. The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest American federal law enforcement office and the culture within the department reflects that history.

    I’m not surprised at the profanity nor at the search, I would be surprised if they had shot the civilian.

  11. I fail to see where the marshals had probable cause to believe the fugitive was actually in this woman’s apartment. A tip that the fugitive was in an apartment complex does not give them the authority to search every apartment. How reliable and credible was this tip to begin with?

    The Marshal’s Service is looking like it is going to get sued I would say.

  12. Re the notion of

    anon 1, July 22, 2013 at 8:53 am
    I think its time we start shooting police when they do this stuff.
    …The Indiana law that lets citizens shoot cops.

    From a “systems” point of view this is “solving”, at least reacting to the problem at the same level that is is functioning. Ie, it wont, actually can not, solve the problem. And as delicious it may feel to think so, it wont be.
    It will have exactly the same consequence as if the Iraqis had met the marines at the door with weapons. Yes, a few more marines would have died, but eventually so would have those who resisted that overwhelming force. And badly.

    It will be the exact same here. No matter how many guns and weapons citizens have if we follow this remedy we will be playing with a fire that will destroy everything. The state will win. They actually have more guns. The only end-game will be to actually have the full on police state that has hitherto only been manifest in isolated examples.

    Constitution? Gone. Superseded by some necessary martial law imposed to “keep the peace”.

    Already the predicates for this have been laid. We are primed thru our fears to be protected from “terrorists” and nondescript “enemies”. Unfortunately, as is being detailed daily, we are finding out that the enemy is essentially what was once known as the citizenry.

    We have to figure out how to think again. Think in ways we have not been required to for a long time. It wont be easy. It is hard, sometimes, to have any hope that we can. Or will.


  13. These, and other examples posted on this board, remind me of what it might have been like when American Marines were kicking down the doors of civilian Iraqis and Afghans.
    At the time I wondered when something akin would happen here. And here it is. Another consequence of the fateful foolishness that was the Iraq War, the stupid thinking (genius from other perspectives) that got us into it.
    Look at how much has changed as a consequence of the outright ignorant, stupid and simply wrong responses to significant events. From this POV the police state rising is just the natural next step.

    Ideas (and policies) have consequences.
    We sowed lawlessness…now we are reaping it here.

    Soon “they” wont “hate us for our freedoms” any more. “They” wont need to.

    Side Note: Is it worth noting that this happened in Florida? It seems many of the stories that are the leading edge in the dismantling of our civil and constitutional rights start there.

  14. Florida…it’s the water.

    By the way, for you hard-asses out there, if you shoot at anyone in a team of cops, you won’t have to worry about anyone testifying at your trial.

    Quit macho fantasizing and do something useful, like cleaning up Florida and the rest of the slave states.


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