Jeremy Handley thought the worst when a heavily armed group busted through his back door last week.
“I thought it was somebody either trying to rob us or hurt us,” Handley told WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
No, just their local SWAT team looking for cocaine, drug money, and guns — none of which Handley, his wife, nor their 7-year-old son or 8-year-old daughter were stashing at the time.
Nevertheless the SWAT team cuffed and searched Handley and his wife Becky. “He had me sprawl out right here on the floor,” he told WWMT, “and then he had me put my hands behind my back.”
The Handleys two children hid in a bedroom closet. “We were staying quiet because we thought they were bad guys coming in,” son Brenden told WWMT. His sister Aurora added that “it made me sad and scared.”
After the SWAT team found the boy and girl, they were sat on a bed in full view of their handcuffed mom and dad.
Then they ransacked the house: “Every drawer, every cabinet, every piece of paper,” Jeremy Handley told WWMT.
After a nearly three-hour search, nothing was found. Police provided the Handleys a document indicating as much.
[sharequote align=”center”]”Every drawer, every cabinet, every piece of paper.” [/sharequote]
Turns out they were looking for a man who apparently had moved out of the house a year before the family moved in.
Handley said police were looking for “a man named Chum is all I remember,” adding that he’d “never recognize him if I were to see him in the street.”
“They apologized at the end of interviewing me,” Becky Handley told WWMT.
The kids made out better; cops gave them some stuffed animals — not that they’ve quelled their subsequent nightmares.
“One dream was about Chum coming in our house with a gun, saying ‘get on the ground,'” daughter Aurora told WWMT.
Jeremy Handley said he hopes the Kalamazoo police will pay for some counseling for his family — and a new door.
Police didn’t comment about the raid, saying it’s part of an ongoing investigation, but the chief of police is reportedly set to reach out to the family.