WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington Police spokesperson Linda Rawley admits an error was made during an attempt to serve a warrant at Willow Pond apartment complex Thursday morning.
Officers knocked down the wrong door and proceeded to arrest the wrong person.
A woman, who is not a resident of the apartment, was inside the residence with a friend when she said she heard three loud bangs on the door before officers burst inside. She asked not to be identified due to the embarrassment of the situation.
She said she was lying in bed, told officers she was not properly dressed and asked for a blanket, but said they proceeded to grab her by the wrists and force her to the ground.
"I was scared. I was terrified, humiliated. Like, everything was just going through my head," the woman recalled as she lay on the ground exposed from the waist down." [I was] basically begging these officers to put some covers over me, and they would not do it. And, I had these strange men standing over me."
After minutes of confusion, she said the officers realized they were at the wrong address and apologized.
WPD's Linda Rawley sent an email saying "just wanted to point out that the Sheriff's Department actually carried out that search warrant. They were assisting us."
In response, a spokesperson for the New Hanover County Sheriff's department said, "we were executing the warrant for the WPD; the warrant they gave us."
The woman who had the encounter with the officers said she suffered bruises to her wrist and knee from being forced to the ground and went with her mother to the hospital to be checked out.
Rawley said the woman did have a civil warrant against her and technically could have been arrested at the time of the raid.
The woman said the warrant is for failing to pay child support, and she said she felt as if the WPD was trying to intimidate her.
"I was informed that I could come to the police department and fill out a complaint form and in the midst of me doing that, they would not serve the warrant," she explained that she was skeptical. "What am I to do? Like basically it's blackmail…'so we have this warrant on you so if you come for us, we will come issue this warrant. If you just let the issue go, we'll let the warrant go.' But no. I'm not going to let it go," the woman said.
"They violated me in so many ways when they come up in that house, so this has to be heard and I'm not going to keep quiet," she continued.
In all, five search warrants were executed Thursday in the city. The early morning operation put two men behind bars and seized several grams of cocaine.