LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office secured a warrant to arrest Jacoby James, accused of domestic abuse battery, home invasion, theft, and criminal damage to property.
On Tuesday, deputies pulled up to what they believed was his home, but there was a problem; they went to the wrong house.
“They stormed the house," Homeowner Carol Weston said. "Guns drawn, lights on. I opened the door and she said ‘put your hands up’, which I did. She put my arm behind my back, she handcuffed me, walked me through the flower bed and walked me to the corner.”
Jacoby James was not there nor had he ever lived in the home. Instead, Carol Weston, a former teacher, her husband, Rev. Herman Weston, and their two grandchildren were inside.
CPSO says it obtained a no-knock warrant, but deputies say they saw people inside the home. Carol says she opened the door after her granddaughter told her she saw SWAT outside.
“I look out my window and I see, I mean, you see this on tv,” Carol said. “You don’t see this in real life. It was about 10. They came from three different directions, guns drawn, and they handcuffed me. They had me walking down the street like a common criminal. All of my neighbors were looking for me.”
She says she was detained for around 20 minutes while deputies searched their home.
“When they finally took the handcuffs off me and she came to get them, I said ‘Are you going to apologize to me for this?’" Carol said. “She said ‘For what? What do I need to apologize for?’ I thought that was just so rude. It was humiliating. I was embarrassed out there with everyone watching and I’m just thinking ‘What did we do?’ Nothing was explained to us. We were just pulled out of our house and then they just left.”
The Westons say the only thing they want is a public apology from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Tony Mancuso says he met with the homeowners on Wednesday to apologize on behalf of the entire department. He says they have launched an internal investigation to find out how this happened.
“We should not make mistakes like this," Mancuso said. "It is our responsibility to do our due diligence to check and double-check and we were just wrong. We made a mistake and it embarrassed these two people who are great citizens of our parish who did nothing wrong and I want people to understand that we are sorry if we caused them any embarrassment and I hope they forgive us and this department and I am sorry. It is our job to make sure these mistakes don’t happen and I hope it doesn’t ever happen again. We will do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t. I just want to apologize. ”
Mancuso says he does not know if deputies will receive disciplinary action at this time.
CPSO says it is still looking for Jacoby James.