A New Haven man claims a SWAT team wrongly invaded his home and took him into custody for hours, according to a lawsuit filed against the New Haven Police Department, Chief Dean Esserman and the city of New Haven.
The lawsuit states that a New Haven SWAT team entered the Peck Street home of Joseph Adams on Oct. 21, 2013 throwing “flash bombs” and kicking in doors.
"So, I looked over the balcony and I saw two gun barrels and I was like, oh my God, I'm being robbed,” Adams said.
According to Adams and the lawsuit, he was taken into custody for two and a half hours while officers searched his home. Adams claims that he and a neighbor informed police that they were at the wrong apartment and needed to go to the apartment next door.
"I was like, 'I think you want the guy next door.' And they're like, 'why would you say that?' I was like, 'because I talked to him a while ago and he has a criminal record,'” Adams said.
The lawsuit states that Adams was released and the SWAT team took his next door neighbor, Bobby Griffin Jr., into custody under suspicion of murder. Several days later, Adams sought out an attorney.
"It feels like you're living in a police state suddenly. The people who are supposed to be there to protect you are, you know, stomping down your door, throwing flash grenades into your house and goose-stepping their way over your freedom,” attorney Max Rosenberg said.
Adams told FOX CT that he filled out a form to request payment from the New Haven Police Department to repair damages in his apartment from the incident. He claims the department said there was no record of the incident ever happening.
FOX CT reached out to the city of New Haven on two occasions for comment. The city’s corporation counsel sent this statement: "The city is aware of the filing of this lawsuit and will respond accordingly at the appropriate time."