Prairie Village man accuses cops of overly-aggressive tactics in pot bust
9:58 PM, Nov 18, 2013
10:18 PM, Nov 18, 2013
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. - Prairie Village police deployed a flash-bang grenade, a K-9 unit and a 12-man tactical team to arrest a suspected marijuana dealer in a morning raid last month that the man's roommate is now calling excessive and said could have injured his two-year-old daughter.
The raid on the morning of October 25th led to the arrest of Travis Dean Delaval, now charged with two felonies, including possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Police got their man, but at what cost?
Terry Meyers, who rented the basement room in his three-bedroom Prairie Village home to Delaval, said he was awoken that Friday morning to shouts from outside his window.
"I should have been out of the bed and out of the house by seven, but I hit the snooze button and I stayed home," Meyers told 41 Action News. "Into my window comes crashing in, glass all over me, a flash-bang bounces off my wall in my room and into my daughter's room."
Meyers' daughter Rain was staying with her mother that night and not at home, but the flash-bang exploded feet from the crib where she typically sleeps.
Prairie Village Police Captain Wes Lovett said his 12-person tactical team believed they were serving the most dangerous level of warrant in their internal system and took appropriate precautions.
"We had intelligence that was provided to us prior to serving the warrant that there would be weapons inside the home." Lovett said. "As well as some criminal history associated with some people, and we had reason to believe they would resist when we entered the home."
The weapon was a Ruger pistol found hidden in Deleval's room. The criminal history was Meyers': a felony drug bust of his own which led to a guilty plea in 2010.
Lovett said the flash-bang was inserted on a pole so would not have been near the crib, and said his department had intelligence that Meyers' daughter was not in the home when the raid began.
"We were 100 percent sure going into this warrant that there was no children in the home -- I can't tell you how we know that -- but we were 100 percent sure that there was no children there," Lovett said.
Meyers thinks he knows. He says a large, white metal box was installed on the street light across the street from his apartment on the week of the raid. He contacted KCP&L who claimed no knowledge of the box. He believes it is a camera.
"Obviously after waking up with a flash-bang through my window I'm a little paranoid," Meyers said. "I don't want to sound crazy but... what is that?"
Prairie Village police had no comment when asked if the box was any part of their intelligence-gathering operation.