Denver Home Destroyed by SWAT Team Tactics

From CBS Denver:

A standoff that stretched across two days in Greenwood Village and included the suspect firing shots at police came to a peaceful resolution Thursday morning.

Police say it all started when a man allegedly stole two belts and a shirt from Walmart.

According to police, just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday there was a shoplifting reported at a Walmart on East Hampden in Aurora. The suspect fled in a vehicle to a light rail station where he ditched the vehicle and was seen with a gun. Police attempted to chase the suspect but were unsuccessful in apprehending him.

The suspect somehow made his way to Greenwood Village where he entered a random home with a 9-year-old boy inside. The boy managed to call 911, safely leave the home and was reunited with his mother.

“It was that awkward confrontation that you recognize someone is in your home that doesn’t belong there,” Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson said. “A series of phone calls to 911 and the mother — they advised him to leave, at which time he did, and he’s perfectly fine.”

Mugshots Robert Jonathon Seacat from previous arrests (credit: Greenwood Village Police)

Robert Jonathon Seacat

The man, who was identified as Robert Jonathon Seacat, 33, of Denver, barricaded himself inside a house at approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The home is located at 4200 block of South Alton Street near Interstate 225 and Yosemite.

Police said Seacat had access to weapons, and CBS4 cameras were rolling as he allegedly shot at officers Wednesday night.

Several different tactics were used by police to try to get the man out, including using a robot, explosives and chemicals.

“After several hours of negotiations, members of Greenwood Village Police Department Emergency Response Team entered the home, and the suspect fired multiple gunshots at the officers,” police said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

The situation was lasting so long that some of the SWAT and other police officers at the scene were being relieved by different personnel in the morning on Thursday just after daybreak. Multiple police agencies were working on the case.

“At 8:52 a.m. … officers and deputies entered the home again and safely removed the suspect from the home.”

Just before 9 a.m. on Thursday police told CBS4 the man was taken into custody and transported to a medical facility. It wasn’t immediately clear what his condition was. No police officers or anyone else was hurt in the situation.

Seven homes that were evacuated as a precaution after the standoff started remained evacuated Thursday morning but the evacuations were lifted after the suspect’s apprehension.

Kathryn Farrow lives next door and was evacuated by police. “We could hear the bombs go off so we figured that there would be a lot of damage because we could hear it shake six houses down,” Farrow said. “I think they needed to do what they needed to do because he was armed and not going to come out peacefully, and there were weapons in the house. They’re pretty shaken up but grateful that they’re son is okay and all the support in the neighborhood.”

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While CBS made no mention of the damage to the home, other sites have added pictures that clearly show damage that seems extreme for a one-man standoff.

'Osama's house looks better than mine': Homeowner Pissed After SWAT Team Destroys Home

It’s likely that some of those holes in the house were windows. Why not just lob smoke bombs in through each of them and leave the house in tact?

standoff-3

You can click here to watch a video clip of the homeowner being interviewed by ABC of Denver. In it there is obviously much more damage than shown in CBS’ pictures above, and there is a conversation with a neighbor who states that the police drove a tank through their fences. Yes, a tank, for a one-man stand-off.

“They methodically fired explosives into every room in this house in order to extract one person,” Lech stated. “Granted, he had a handgun, but against 100 officers? You know, the proper thing to do would be to evacuate these homes around here, ensure the safety of the homeowners around here, fire some tear gas through the windows. If that didn’t work, you have 50 SWAT officers with body armor break down the door.”

Police explained the extraordinary event required extraordinary measures, but Lech was upset the City didn’t immediately agree to cover the damage.

“There are things in there that can’t be replaced,” Lech added. “You’ve destroyed a family’s life for nothing, absolutely nothing, due to poor decision making on the part of government officials.”

According to CBS, Lech’s homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage because of a clause that exempts “incompetent government” acts.

Agreed, that was very poor decision making and could have been handled so much better.

~Kathy

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10 Responses to Denver Home Destroyed by SWAT Team Tactics

  1. Uriel says:

    Poor decision or jade helm at work Kathy?

  2. Garnet92 says:

    I’m not one to encourage lawsuits, but the city/police department, et al, should be sued for a gazillion dollars. Talk about overkill – for one dude? He had shoplifted and invaded the home, but hadn’t killed anyone, was it really necessary to destroy someone’s home to finally arrest him? NO, IT WASN’T. I’d love to be on a jury awarding punitive damages to the homeowner – like I said, a GAZILLION dollar award.

    • Kathy says:

      Same here, Garnet, this country is already too lawsuit happy, but in this case it’s more than justified. There’s just no way this action was their only means to extract the guy.

  3. Clyde says:

    Well, NOW we know where the cops from Waco went………

    • Kathy says:

      Lol, Clyde apparently we do. It would have been so much easier to run him out of ammo and take him without destroying property.

    • Buck says:

      They weren’t cops in Waco. They were ATF storm troopers. The sheriff of Mclennan County said he could have called Koresh any time and Koresh would have come to the office.

    • Buck says:

      They weren’t cops in Waco. They were ATF storm troopers.

  4. CW says:

    >>”…Lech’s homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage because of a clause that exempts “incompetent government” acts.”

    Too bad we can’t all exempt ourselves from the financial risks of incompetent government acts like the smart insurance execs have done.

    For some reason these stand-off situations cause the police to go braindead. Of course, if they had been more careful about damaging the house and the suspect had consequently been able to injure a cop or a civilian, they’d be criticized for that too. I don’t think we’ll ever see consistently reasonable responses by the police as long as we are consistently unforgiving of the human errors they may make. Fear of public criticism just has a way of making people think less clearly, IMO.

  5. Wayne says:

    Every police officer involved in this debacle should be brought up on charges and be immediately fired, but not before splitting the cost of rebuilding the homeowners house. They should be stripped of the right to own firearms and be publicly humiliated for their stupidity. Can you imagine all those armed men not being able to contain such a simple situation and apprehend 1 man. It speaks to their complete inability to handle a truly dangerous situation, unless of course your talking about tasering an old wheelchair bound man. Imagine some of the possible casualties that might occur during such idiocy.