Single mom says police raided home, won’t pay for damage

WGN Investigates
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NORRIDGE, Ill. — A resident in the Village of Norridge said police raided her home, broke her windows and her basement door, and now won’t pay for the damage.

Kathy Smith said she was at work Sept. 17 when she saw armed police officers on her front porch. She spoke with them through her home security system, before rushing home where her son and two dogs were inside.

Smith said police used her son as a human shield during the incident. He was never arrested or charged with any crimes.

Norridge Police said they were looking for 18-year-old John Reyes, a teenager who was wanted for armed robbery of Pointe Plaza Walmart. Reyes, they said, had also threatened to shoot up Ridgewood High School on social media.

Reyes was eventually found hiding in Smith’s basement and was charged with felony disorderly conduct and having a defaced firearm.

But Smith said police should pay for the damage they caused to her home during the raid. Even though they had been in the house for hours, and had keys to every room, she said they broke a door and two windows.

Smith said she feels like they used unnecessary force and her home surveillance cameras show police putting her family at risk.

“I did nothing but comply with the police officers and I feel like I am now the victim,” she told WGN News.

Police said the actions they took were necessary to find the suspect. They said they were trying to conduct a tactical search in the safest, most thorough way. They blamed Smith’s son for letting the wanted suspect into the family’s home.

The Village of Norridge said “the circumstances are unfortunate” but it is not legally responsible for the damage because of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act.

Smith said she’s been without windows for six weeks and she doesn’t feel safe. She said she cannot afford new windows. The damage was not covered by her renter’s insurance.

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