5 days, 16 hours ago
It was late on a Saturday night, and Elena DeRosa and her husband were watching TV in their southwest Roanoke County home. Suddenly their dog was going nuts. Seconds later the doorbell rang, and there was loud pounding on their front door — boom, boom, boom.
Because nobody they know ever uses that entrance, the couple feared they were targets of a home-invasion robbery. They’d read about one of those in Roanoke County just the week before, she said.
So DeRosa and her husband (whom she asked me not to name) went for their handguns. He was out the side door, armed, before she got to her gun. As she grabbed it, a bright light beamed into their sunroom.
Then the shouting began, DeRosa said. Someone ordered her out of the house. The light was in her face. The next day, this is what she wrote on her blog, in a post titled “My Life Matters.”
“Whoever it is, they are not lowering the light so I look away from it and see my husband to my left staring down the barrel of a gun while a cop shouts to him to put his hands on his head. WTF? The light gets lowered as I’m being yelled at to step out of the house, and for the first time I see cops, many, many cops all over my yard, guns pointed at me and my husband.
“I quickly put my [handgun] on the shelf inside and step out to the shouting, ‘Put your hands on top of your head, hands on the head!’ while three of them advance on me, their guns drawn and pointed.”
It was the Roanoke County police. The date was July 23. And the couple wanted to know why the police were at their house, pointing guns at them. And why they looked like a SWAT team.
“Finally a female cop states, ‘We got a report you assaulted someone.’ ” The DeRosas replied they’d been home peacefully, all night. Both were patted down by police.
“Then it dawns on me. ‘What address are your [sic] looking for?’ ” DeRosa wrote. “She says our four house numbers. ‘Yeah, but what street? This is Sugar Loaf Drive. Are you looking for Sugar Loaf Mountain Road? That’s two blocks down!’
“I try to point the way but I’m told to keep my hands up. She looks at her pad then all the cops start looking at each other. Then, only then, do they ask our names.” The couple told them.
At that point, DeRosa later told me, the officers all looked at each other with “Oh sh–” expressions on their faces and ran for their cars. There was no apology, no nothing, DeRosa said. They sped off into the night.
So what the heck happened? It’s a worthy question, because under the circumstance, some law-abiding citizens minding their own business in their house could easily have wound up shot or dead. Now, we have some answers, as a result of an internal investigation initiated by DeRosa after the incident.
Three officers went to the wrong house, said Assistant Chief Jimmy Chapman. The dispatcher had sent them to an address bearing the same street number, on Sugar Loaf Mountain Road rather than Sugar Loaf Drive.
But when an officer entered the address into a GPS, the DeRosas’ address was “the first one that popped up,” he said.
Geniuses, each and every one. I reckon no one has ever heard of independent verification or QV&V (quality verification and validation to ensure the accuracy, fidelity and veracity of your information). Guns drawn, people muzzle flagged, and innocent people put at risk, and had there been a home invasion by gang bangers, the poor folks inside wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. Oh well, Justice Breyer says we don’t have a right to self defense anyway, because, “the children.”
Remember, boys and girls. Only cops can commit the crime of home invasion, because they are just like you, only better and more special. It’s illegal for you to do this.