Nature of Complaint
Illegal Entry into a home
Home of the Smith Family
East Spencer, North Carolina
Details: On Feb. 12th, 2012, officers with the Rowan County Sheriff Office arrived at the home of Robert Smith, alleging to have an arrest warrant for Robert's son, Anthony - hadn't lived at the residence in over a year. This was the 2nd time in less than 9 months that officers came to Robert's home looking for Anthony.
Just like he did in the first incident, last July, Robert advised the officers that his son does not live at the residence and hasn't for quite some time. The officers ignored Robert, as well as his repeated requests to produce a warrant and demanded that he open the door. So that the incident could be documented, Robert picked up his phone and dialed 911. He informed the dispatcher, who wasn't much help at all, about what was going on and that would not open his door without a warrant. No sooner than he could get the words out of his, the officers kicked Robert's door down and stormed into the house. After looking through the house and realizing that Robert was being truthful about his son not being there, the officers made the decision that they weren't going home empty handed and that someone would be going to jail that night. For asking to see a warrant Robert was arrested and charged with resisting/obstructing an officer and misuse of 911.
The day after, Robert complained to the Sheriff's Office about the incident and in less than 24 hours Capt. Wyrick determined that his officer acted appropriately.
In Wyrick's letter to the Smith Family (left), he states that his officers did not violate any policies, because where there serving "criminal arrest warrants against Robert Smith". However, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office's own records show that Capt. Wyrick's claims were false. Not only was there never a "criminal warrant" for Robert, but there wasn't one for his son either. Robert's son, Anthony, did have a warrant, however it was related to a civil matter. Nothing that would allow police to enter in this manner. Despite the Rowan County Sheriff's Office's failure to handle this situation properly, they still chose to peruse the charges against Robert Smith.
Follow this case
Interview w/ Robert Smith
Robert Smith 911 call
The Rowan County Sheriff's Office have a laugh at Robert's expense (Radio transmissions)