SWAT Team Rams Wrong Man’s Car

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

In a slight twist of the SWAT team raids the wrong home theme, Austin American-Statesman has this report.

Driving in the early morning hours to his job at a metal shop in Buda, Miguel Montanez at first thought the approaching lights were a school bus or a tow truck.

But Montanez says it was a Hays County SWAT truck that rammed his car head-on. As they collided, another police vehicle pinned him from behind, he says.

He heard a shot.

“I saw my windshield crack, and I ducked down as low as possible,” Montanez said. “I really thought I was going to die.”

Seconds later, he says, three deputies were pointing assault rifles at him. “That’s when I heard one of the officers say, ‘Oh, (expletive), we got the wrong guy,’ ” Montanez said.

Montanez, 39, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on May 6 against Hays County, the city of San Marcos and nine law enforcement agents for injuries he says he sustained that morning last summer, July 13.

Even after officers realized that he was not the suspect, he said, they kept him in handcuffs for half an hour while they questioned him and ran a warrant check that came up with nothing. Then they let him go.

Montanez, who lives in Guadalupe County, said that one of the officers told him they were looking for one of hisbrothers, who lives at a different address.

Sheriff’s officials in Hays County and San Marcos police declined to comment.

The county’s insurance company paid about $3,700 for the damage to the car, which was totaled, but has never offered an apology or to cover his medical bills. Montanez said he suffered a herniated disc in his back …

Out of control.  These are the only words that I can think of to express the situation and supply some analysis, albeit brief.  This SWAT team is completely out of control and off the chain.

When we have SWAT teams ramming cars and shooting at innocent people, it’s way past time for the concept of SWAT teams to come to a timely end or at least focus on the much less frequent instance of active shooters or kidnappings.

But no court anywhere will hold the police accountable.  Welcome to Amerika!

UPDATE:

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Comments

  1. On May 21, 2013 at 9:54 am, willis said:

    And to compound their errors, the policemen forgot to make the usual plant of drugs in the poor guy’s car. These guys are obviously not real professionals and should be booted from the force.

  2. On May 21, 2013 at 10:07 am, Ben said:

    I like how they held him for a while after they realized they screwed up so they could run checks and maybe find an old unpaid parking ticket or something so they could call this justified.

    All the world needs is more morons given the right to shoot guns at people with near impunity. This kind of stuff wouldn’t bother me so much if the police had to pay the same penalty as a normal person when they screw up. They basically destroyed this guy’s car and possibly caused him physical harm. Sounds like destruction of property and assault at the least.

    Why aren’t they being prosecuted?

  3. On May 21, 2013 at 10:24 am, Largebill said:

    Cops, like all government workers, are our employees. If you had someone working for you who treated you like crap you’d fire them. If we want better behavior from government employees we need to fire some when they behave poorly. In the sales world it is customary to fire the worst salesman each quarter to improve performance of the rest.

  4. On May 21, 2013 at 10:24 am, George said:

    What is wrong with these SWAT knuckleheads? How many no-knock wrongful raids have we heard about? It’s shoot first and ask questions later.

    Our government is out of control. Do we even need SWAT teams? Disband them.

  5. On May 21, 2013 at 10:24 am, Depsiser said:

    This corrupt Unionized Govt Police force no longer has my CONSENT… These CRIMINALS that spend their days attacking Americans are the ENEMY of America not our friends. When over 100% of every single State budget is going to pay just RETIRED Police, Fire and Prison Guards than come back and talk about WHOM the ACTUAL criminals are in America.

  6. On May 21, 2013 at 10:31 am, Steve said:

    They fired on him? A police badge does not immune you from when you can fire on someone. The use of lethal force is ONLY warrented when your life or that of another person is in grave jeopardy. That was not the case here and yet they fired on the guy anyway. That is attempted homicide!!! Whoever fired should go to prison!

  7. On May 21, 2013 at 10:35 am, marie said:

    The fact that nearly all search warrants are served with a SWAT team–or served a home invasion-style, if there is no SWAT team–should frighten everyone. Most people have no idea that search warrants are served this way, bringing deliberate chaos into the home. The mixture of chaos and cops with weapons drawn has proven too many times to be deadly.

    When people hear about search warrants served this way, they assume there was a reason to do it that way. But no. Most of the time, the warrants are part of an investigation of a non-violent crime.

  8. On May 21, 2013 at 10:37 am, Nowa said:

    You people need to support the police more. They are out there putting their lives on the line, while you sleep soundly in your beds at night. So what if they occasionally smash into your cars on public streets as you go about your daily law-abiding lives? And so what if, upon realizing that you are not in any way a criminal, they keep you manacled, rather than apologize and get you medical care for your injuries? That is a small price to pay for the safety they provide to you.

    Their salaries, which are by and large bigger than yours, and their benefits, which again are better than yours, are small compensation for the bravery and skill of these warriors against chaos. Yes, warriors. That is precisely why you should not hold them to your standards, but rather the standards of a Delta Force combat team, bravely invading an enemy cave or compound. Truly, verily, and honestly, we are blessed to have these police-owned tanks prowling our streets, ready to unleash from inside the metal skin machine gun-carrying teams of screaming killers, er, cops, to protect us from….well, whatever it is they protect us from, it must be worse than tanks filled with machine-gun carrying teams of killers.

  9. On May 21, 2013 at 10:39 am, Bill said:

    Ok. So to sum up : if you’re walking, in your car, or in you castle the state can attack you with impunity. Good to know.

    Can we offer bounties or is that too klanish?

  10. On May 21, 2013 at 10:39 am, dustydog said:

    Only one side of the story. The media gets every story I’m familiar with wrong; I can’t credit them with getting a story right just because it sounds plausible.

  11. On May 21, 2013 at 10:56 am, willem said:

    NO immunity for SWAT operations. NO indemnity for SWAT operators. If they want to play dress-up soldier in their communities, then we must have a zero tolerance policy for error on their part.

    No immunity/indemnity for SWAT operations improves the public safety.

    Impose zero tolerance for error for adults who play dress-up soldier with automatic weapons in our communities.

    Let them go to jail for crimes against the innocent and they will get much, much better at gathering the criminals in our midst.

  12. On May 21, 2013 at 10:57 am, Andrew Krause said:

    “Sheriff’s officials in Hays County and San Marcos police declined to comment.”

    I guess this is their side of the story…

  13. On May 21, 2013 at 11:01 am, marie said:

    Nowa, you forgot to work the phrase “first responders” into your comment. That’s the phrase that innoculates cops and firemen from any criticism.

  14. On May 21, 2013 at 11:13 am, Rex said:

    As much as I deplore the SWAT team’s actions, I must point out (1) the “facts” in this case probably came from the legal complaint, and (2) once the lawsuit was filed, the cops were probably prohibited from saying anything about the case by their superiors.

  15. On May 21, 2013 at 11:31 am, Deserttrek said:

    swat teams are not needed. the police are not nor should they pretend to be the military. law enforcement is not policing.

    i trust criminals more than most cops

  16. On May 21, 2013 at 11:36 am, Lou Gots said:

    Soooooeeeee-e-e–e-e-e-e-e, pig, pig, pig.

    The pigs KNEW the victim wasn’t the suspect, they knew that they had no reason to believe he was wanted, and they held him anyway.

  17. On May 21, 2013 at 11:43 am, Beaux Weevil said:

    Someone please tell me this clowns are now in line at local soup kitchen.

  18. On May 21, 2013 at 11:59 am, ThomasD said:

    His detention was unwarranted in every sense of the word.

    Everyone involved should be facing criminal assault, and illegal detention charges.

  19. On May 21, 2013 at 11:59 am, Greyone said:

    Making a traffic stop on someone because you think they are the person you have a warrant for is justified. Ramming them is NOT a “traffic stop” tactic. There is no legal justification for using potentially lethal force against someone who has not in any way resisted- cannot have resisted because you made no attempt at a LEGAL stop. I think the officers involved may learn about the phrase “1983 Civil Rights suit”, and the department may find that “failure to train and failure to supervise” are issues they SHOULD have been paying attention to.

    Testosterone laden hotshots, with no effective supervision= recipe for trouble.

  20. On May 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm, Bill M said:

    Remember, the ‘government’ is made up of people who live next door to us, shop at the same stores and are out and about like we are. Post their names, put up pictures. You want them to do better, let them know WE know who they are. These are not faceless ‘workers’.

  21. On May 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm, David Pittelli said:

    The problem isn’t that they got the wrong guy. Unless the police had reason to believe the suspect was driving a truck bomb, ramming is an outrageous escalation against anyone not already in the act of attempting deadly force on the police. Ramming is itself a use of deadly force, and if the man they rammed was just driving down the street as reported, the police should of course face prosecution for deadly assault as anyone else would (as well as for false imprisonment). But as you note, this is not likely, although it could be with the “right” angle (e.g., the victim is an old lady or a priest, or has a heart attack and dies while handcuffed, or Al Sharpton gets involved).

  22. On May 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm, Paul said:

    It is obvious they kept him in cuffs HOPING to find something, ANYTHING, to arrest him for so they would be off the hook.

    I mean their carriers are on the line so sure they would snoop. In fact, I bet the idea of planting dope or a gun crossed their minds to (but they didn’t have one handy.)

  23. On May 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm, Roger J said:

    The problem is that SWAT teams all over the country are out of control and off the chain. These are guys who fancy themselves Special Forces “operators.” Do you have a dog? Better keep him inside. Dogs all over the country, harmless breeds like black Labs, are shot every week because a cop “felt threatened.” Come to think of it, keeping your dog inside may not protect him, for family pets have been shot to death by cops right in front of the children who loved them. The toll is not limited to pets alone: A man in a diabetic coma was shot to death by Maryland cops last year. When will we wake up and demand real accountability from police by stripping some of their legal immunity?

  24. On May 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm, Ghost of Xmas Future said:

    Doesn’t matter if you wear a badge or a flower. Any unlawful assault on innocents justifies the right of self defense. Kill all they send.

  25. On May 22, 2013 at 2:08 am, Brad said:

    When the people give up hope of justice from the law and courts, their next recourse is vigilantism.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Police,SWAT Raids and was published May 20th, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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