Sheriff's office: FOX 9 report about 'raiding' the wrong house is inaccurate
The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office is criticizing a top Twin Cities news outlet for a recent report that claimed deputies raided the wrong house while looking for a burglary suspect in Rochester.
The incident in dispute took place last Tuesday in the 600 block of 13th Avenue. Deputies were conducting surveillance of the house after a tracking device on a stolen computer led them to the neighborhood.
The FOX 9 story claims deputies went in and raided the home, which was occupied by a family with two kids. The report says deputies "wouldn't even let" a "6-year-old use the bathroom."
The sheriff's office doesn't dispute that they went into the wrong home. But in a news briefing Tuesday morning, Capt. Scott Behrns said deputies did not use force to enter the home, but were instead let in by the family. He also denied that the child was denied use of the bathroom.
"We apologized; we owned it," said Behrns. He stated that the homeowner at one point even thanked the deputies for "cleaning up the neighborhood."
Authorities left the home after about 10 minutes. Shortly after, they found the stolen items at a home a few doors down. Todd Black, 37, was arrested and later charged with burglary. According to the sheriff's office, the computer in question was located in a vehicle outside of the residence.
In a statement published to the department's official Facebook page, Sheriff Kevin Torgerson said he was "disappointed that FOX 9 ran the story without fully investigating it."
"These are the types of reporting that needlessly cause controversy and damage public relations," he said. "This was and is not an urgent incident or story involving any life threatening information that couldn’t wait until Monday for our Investigative Division to respond."
The sheriff's office has tried to contact FOX 9 about the story but has not heard back. The TV station has not updated the report since its initial publication.
You can watch the full report below.
(Cover graphic: Olmsted County Sheriff's Office)