The family of an elderly woman in England is speaking out after officers raided the woman’s home and forced her to be hospitalized for shock.
Armed officers stormed the Birmingham home of 66-year-old Hermine Lynch last month as she was in the process of recovering from a broken back, according to the Birmingham Mail.
As it turned out, the woman was the sister of soccer star Dave Bennett who led Coventry City to victory in a 1987 FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur.
The FA Cup, or Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout- style soccer tournament in England.
The armed officers were on the hunt for 23-year-old Antoine Peak of Birmingham, who could possibly be armed and dangerous.
According to the West Midlands Police Department, the suspect had been linked to the supply of firearms and when credible sources sent the police to Lynch’s home on May 13, they were prepared to make an arrest.
Little did they know that inside the home was a frail woman with pre-existing medical issues.
Officers kicked down the door to Lynch’s home and quickly swarmed the premises.
Lynch was downstairs in a bed when she heard the door come crashing down just after midnight.
Her family members said that the mother-of-four was then forced to go outside and was questioned in a police van before officers called an ambulance.
“Officers with guns stormed into my mother’s home – and we’re not talking little pistols, we’re talking great big guns,” Lynch’s 28-year-old son Jeremy told Birmingham Mail.
Bennett said he was making an official complaint about the incident to West Midlands Police and for leaving his family with such a huge mess to clean up after they made a mistake.
“They messed up and we had to pick up the pieces,” 54-year-old Bennett said. “Hermine is in a bad way. She could have died – what would have been said then?”
The family acknowledged that the police had a warrant, but claim they felt the officers did not do enough to assist Lynch after such a traumatizing experience.
“The only courteous thing they did was to ring Midland Heart to put a makeshift board on the door,” Jeremy added. Midland Heart is the housing group that owns Lynch’s home.
Her son also explained that his mother was already in a very frail state before the police stormed her home.
Jeremy said that his mother “hadn’t been out of the house for two months” prior to the raid and that her “heartbeat wouldn’t go down because she was so worked up.”
Superintendent Darren Miles, head of operations for West Midlands Police, said that the officers acted in the best way they possibly could under such circumstances.
“Just after midnight, police went to two interlinked addresses, where credible and recent information had recently placed [Antoine Peak],” Miles said. “It was essential to enter both premises to ensure a safe arrest.”
Miles said that after officers confirmed the suspect they were searching for was not in the home, they turned their attention to the elderly woman inside the home.
He said officers made sure Lynch received the medical attention she needed after they completed their search of the home and asked her some questions.
Miles said he is positive that the public would understand that they had a job to do.
“As I am sure the public will appreciate, we have to act safely but quickly when seeking to arrest someone who we believe has access to a firearm,” Miles said.
Peak is still at large.
A similar incident also happened in the U.S only a few short weeks before police raided Lynch’s home.
Ruth Hunter, a 75-year-old woman from Virginia, was tied up while police raided her apartment.
Hunter later told news crews that the culprit whom police were looked for was actually two doors down from her apartment.