Police kicked in wrong door in Muncie bath salt raid, lawsuit claims

Police had warrant for prior apartment resident

INDIANAPOLIS - A Muncie couple has lodged a federal civil rights lawsuit, claiming they were handcuffed by police who were actually searching for the man who lived in their apartment before them.

The lawsuit, filed in Indianapolis federal court, stems from a large series of raids that resulted in eight arrests on June, 11, 2012, throughout the Muncie area.  

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At the time, officers from several different police agencies said they were rounding up people who were selling bath salts and other synthetic drugs to high school students and others.

In all, officers said at the time that they raided 10 locations, including gas stations and a total of six businesses, throughout the Muncie and Yorktown area.

Erica Zook and Michael Hornback are now suing, saying they were caught up in the raid by mistake.

The couple’s lawsuit claims the door of their apartment was kicked in by police and they were both handcuffed for 30 minutes, even though neither of their names was listed on a search warrant or arrest warrant.

They lived in an apartment complex directly across the street from Ball State University, which they said leads to constant turnover of students moving in and out of units.

The man whose name was listed on the police arrest warrant that day had moved out of their same apartment unit more than six months before the raid, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit asks for monetary damages for false arrest, with the couple’s lawyer writing that investigating deputies with the Delaware County Sheriff’s office should have double checked with the leasing office before kicking in the couple’s door as they slept.   The lawsuit said that deputies relied on old information in getting a search warrant from a judge that day.

The lawsuit points out that the prior resident of their apartment, who was the man named on the arrest warrant, had already been arrested in the drug sweep when deputies raided the couple’s apartment.

All of those arrested were taken to a police command post at the local fairgrounds, where the couple claims they were photographed in handcuffs by television news camera crews. 

Delaware County Sheriff Mike Scroggins did not respond to an email and a phone message for comment on Friday afternoon.


Follow Stephen Dean on Twitter: @deantvnews

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