Resident: Deputies search wrong home

Man says officers stormed his house, handcuffed him and forced him to the floor
Courtney Astolfi
Mar 31, 2014
A Benedict Avenue resident contends Huron County deputies forced their way into his home Tuesday without a search warrant.

John Collins, who lives in one unit of a triplex home at 114 Benedict Ave., contends deputies got the wrong address when they executed the search warrant. The warrant was for the unit next to his, he said.

The deputies handcuffed him and left him lying on the floor in his unit for 20 minutes after they realized the mistake, Collins said.  

Collins, 26, said he was watching TV when he heard someone yell, “Huron County Sheriff” outside his door.

“As soon as I stood up, they bum-rushed the door and threw me on the ground at gunpoint,” Collins said.

Read managing editor Matt Westerhold's Sunday column about the Huron County Sheriff' raid, Gag on it

They tore through his home, he said, after cuffing him and forcing him to the floor facedown.

“They searched my whole house, pulled stuff out my closet, broke a couple knick knacks” he said.

One deputy also stepped on his tablet, shattering its screen. Another broke a ceramic decoration that once belonged to his now-deceased son, Collins said.

Collins said he repeatedly told the deputies they had the wrong house.

“But they kept saying, ‘This is a drug house,’ and ‘You shouldn’t be in a drug house then’” Collins said.

Two deputies must have realized the mistake, Collins said, because they recognized him from their school days and had to have known he was not the man identified in the search warrant. The deputies went next door, he said. They made contact with the residents there — who were later arrested for drug trafficking.

But six or so other deputies continued searching Collins’ home.

“It was inhumane. I’m to the point where I’m scared and don’t want to be there by myself” Collins said.

After they’d been in his home for awhile, one deputy returned and told him he was under arrest and began reading him his rights, Collins said.

But just a short while later, they uncuffed him and apologized.

“Then they just left like it was nothing” Collins said.

Huron County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Cardwell issued a secret gag order March 21 to seal the search warrant. The gag order is also secret, Cardwell’s court clerk said after the Register asked for a copy of the order.

And the criminal complaint that was filed with the Huron County Sheriff’s Office also is secret.

The Register learned the search warrant was gagged after Huron County Sheriff’s Capt. Ted Patrick failed to deliver on assurances he made Thursday, when he said he would follow up on the Register’s requests for the initial complaints that led to the search warrant.

Incident reports and search warrants are generally public record that cannot be withheld from release.

“You send me a records request via email and I’ll be happy to get what you need,” Patrick said Thursday.

Patrick did not respond to the email the Register then sent and, when a reporter went to the sheriff’s office Friday, the incident reports weren’t available.

Patrick, who for the past three years has routinely failed to follow the public records requirements of the Ohio Revised Code, was also unavailable.

Earlier this month, Sheriff Dane Howard agreed to have his command staff begin complying with state law. When the Register emailed requests for incident reports on four other occasions in the past few weeks, the Huron County Sheriff’s Office provided those reports the following day — the first ever such consistent occurrences in the past three years.

It’s unclear why Judge Cardwell issued the gag order on this search warrant, or why he extended that gag order to include the gag order itself.

It’s also unclear why Patrick cannot provide the incident reports. On Thursday, Patrick said what Collins contends is not accurate.

The search warrant deputies executed at his home was for the correct address, he said; the arrests next door simply occurred as a coincidence.

“We finished a search warrant at 114 1/2 Benedict Ave. Our next move then was to check on an individual who may have a warrant in close proximity,” Patrick said. “When we executed the warrant we became aware of warrants for an individual in close proximity, which was next door”

Collins was not arrested after the search warrant was executed inside his home. The residents of the neighboring unit were.

Thomas Papp, 34, and his mother, Patricia Papp, were both arrested on drug trafficking warrants, according to Huron County jail guards.

Comments

holysee

+1

Peninsula Pundit

Even more scary, is that if 'HOMELAND SECURITY' were to get ahold of you, you would disappear and NO ONE is obligated to tell what happened to you.
Just off Rt.2 on Rt. 53 heading to Catawba Island, the OSHP has an office in the DHS Gulag and if they take you there, even they are under no obligation to divulge anything about what is going on inside those walls, despite State laws to the contrary.
Again, regardless of political leanings, here is something where we can all stand together as one and say NO.

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

I'm with you... Check out Peaceful Streets Project Sandusky if you want to get involved with turning back this fascist tide.

Save a life, film a cop

Babo

People have disappeared in the state system as well. This is not a recent phenomena as there are political incarcerations locally dating to 2002.

Really are you ...

Just wait.

WATCHED_1s

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

holysee

Tell us more cop. The war on drugs does not achieve anything except wasted taxpayer bucks! Why has the heroin production in afghanistan increased 40x since our military entered the country?

KnuckleDragger

Gotta agree with you on this one holysee

holysee

AND piggy piggy, why did they not find even at least some paraphernalia, needles etc?

KnuckleDragger

Read todays article in the Reflector, they did find paraphernalia and he is about to be charged.

Peninsula Pundit

It is easier to buy some syringes at CVS and throw them down than either a knife or gun.
Just Sayin'

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

The days of the Thug-Blue-Line protecting costumed criminals from accountability are over. Donut-grazers beware, we the people are fed-up and are not going to stand idly by anymore while you victimize peaceful people and act like that ounce of tin pinned to your chest gives you rights that regular citizens don't.

mikeylikesit

donut-grazers.. ha! i know you are serious but i had to laugh!

WATCHED_1s

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Ralph J.

Wrong house? Police will never admit to being wrong and will try to blame the occupants.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

Richard Cranium

My advice to John Collins is get in touch with Murray and Murray.

justmyopinion5

I don't believe everything I read. The Register will do anything to sell a paper. The police in Huron County have always done a fine job and I'm sure they did here to. Keep it up gang!!!

G_Johnson

"I don't believe everything I read. The Register will do anything to sell a paper."

+1000000000

Nemesis

And yet this is just another case in a pattern developing across the country.

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

'The police in Huron County have always done a fine job and I'm sure they did here to. Keep it up gang!'

You got one part right, they are a gang... A gang of thugs.

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

You are eight times more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist... This guy is real lucky they didn't kill his dog then shoot him for being a mouthy slave.

KURTje

Patrick is what gives good L.E. a bad name. So Ricky Vitte like.

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

But it's OK that their co-workers turn a blind eye? Sounds like a Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky type relationship.

I'm still waiting for a virtuous cop to give peace-officers a good name by arresting one of his criminal 'brothers'.

somescrewyname

What exactly does this mean Mr Dane Howard.........."Earlier this month, Sheriff Dane Howard agreed to have his command staff begin complying with state law."......You were breaking the law? if one is not complying with, one is breaking the law. Mr Howard, now tell me why should we believe anything a law breaker says happen (and one according to their own admission seems to not have been complying to law for a long time)...... Here is what Patrick said about Mr Collins....."On Thursday, Patrick said what Collins contends is not accurate."....so what your saying is Mr Collins is a liar. But yet it is you and your staff not complying to the law. And you want us to believe you and your staff over Mr Collins who has not been breaking the law?

Game time

This article is completely different than what the hometown newspaper of the individual reported. It appears to me that this is the Register once again bashing our local law enforcement. Westerhold why don't you focus on getting your license back rather than bashing cops!!!

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

What's wrong piggy, is the thug-blue-line not protecting you anymore?

JMOP

The Norwalk reflector gave the story of the police side. This story is from Mr. Collins side. So yeah, there's gonna be conflicting stories.

AnAmerican

The Sheriff's office was warned by officials that the person they were going to bust had not lived there for two years. Repeatedly warned. They CHOSE to ignore the warning.

Peninsula Pundit

Oh, that doesn't matter, according to a few on this board.
They committed a crime once, so they are forever suspect even after paying their 'debt to society.'
In fact, they claim, the po-po were well within their, ahem, 'rights.'

GottaloveNorwalk

Check out Norwalk Municipal Court records on John Collins, the police and reason to know this guy. He is trouble!! “It was inhumane. I’m to the point where I’m scared and don’t want to be there by myself” Collins said. That is just hilarious knowing who he is.

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