ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque mom says Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies terrorized her son who was home sick from school when they raided the wrong home.
According to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Monday, a 14-year-old boy was at his south valley home with a fever two years ago when deputies “wore balaclavas or hoods over their heads,” entered his room and pointed guns at him.
The lawsuit claims the boy was “drowsy, confused, feverish and terrified” when they “screamed at him to get out of bed and lie face down on the floor.”
Deputies allegedly demanded to know where his drugs were and handcuffed him.
They had the wrong guy and the wrong home.
“Officers cannot just beat down your door, come in, rip you out of bed, throw you on the ground, cuff you, take you were they want to take you,” said attorney Justine Fox-Young.
Deputies were looking for a home where they believed someone was selling pot.
A November 2012 search warrant is for “2427 Del Sur” – described as a “peach in color stucco residence that has a flat roof” with a silver mailbox that says “2427.”
Though deputies had permission to search other sheds and buildings on the property, the lawsuit says the boy was in the residence 2427 1/2 – directly behind the one in question.
Their attorney says they had no right to enter that residence.
The lawsuit states no drugs were found at the house at 2427 1/2, which the family was renting.
“This case is sort of every parent’s worse nightmare,” Fox-Young said.
What deputies apparently didn’t know at the time, was that the boys mother was a co-worker – a civilian employee with BCSO.
The lawsuit says she got a call from a neighbor and raced home to find her terrified son out of handcuffs, but only after deputies took photos of him. It also alleges deputies refused to show her the search warrant.
“They have to abide by the constitution and these kinds of abuses cannot go unchecked,” Fox-Young said.
BCSO itself is not named in the lawsuit, but the department declined to comment anyway. KRQE News 13 tried to reach the deputies named in the lawsuit through BCSO, but did not receive a response.