JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – An area resident claims that several SWAT team members entered her home without her permission during a standoff that took place on Sunday afternoon.
The woman, Deborah Franz, said the authorities had initially ordered residents to evacuate the area after a fight broke out in the home of one of her neighbors, WTEV-TV reports.
After leaving around 1 p.m. that day as per their orders, she returned hours later and found that her belongings had been tampered with while she was out of the house.
“I stopped, I froze because I realized somebody had messed with my TV,” Franz was quoted as saying.
When she found nothing missing, she realized that the police might have entered her home without her knowledge while they were handling the standoff. Authorities reportedly confirmed that when she called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office about the matter.
“[A representative of the Sheriff’s Office] did call me back and he said ‘Yeah, Ms. Franz, my men did come in your house,'” she told WTEV, adding that she wished they had at least attempted to ask her first. “If you’re going to come in my home and use my home, at least let me know or at least try to contact me.”
Mike Williams, director of investigations and homeland security for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement to WTEV that they had been made aware of the issue “via news media.”
“We continuously review our tactics and operational procedures to ensure that the methods we use are both legally sound and in the best interest of the safety of our officers, the community, as well as any suspects, victims, or witnesses that may be present at any critical incident,” he said. “This case will get the same scrutiny to ensure that we used best practices and it will be assessed to ensure that we followed all legal and ethical guidelines.”
They reportedly declined to confirm or deny Franz’s allegations, however.