A Florida man says officers with the Ocoee Police Department opened fire on the home he shares with his wife and their 12-year-old son after mistakenly responding to a domestic violence call at the wrong residence.
The unidentified man said he awoke at around 1 a.m. on Saturday to a loud banging on the door of his Belhaven Falls Drive house and asked who it was, but got no response from officers.
He said he was afraid there might be burglars at the door so he grabbed a gun and returned to see a bright light shining through the glass and heard someone outside shout, “gun.”
That’s when officers opened fired, spraying the home with rounds that zoomed past the man’s head, shattered windows, and penetrated walls, the family says, before they dropped to the floor in hopes they wouldn’t be shot.
The man said he never opened fire, but that his family was handcuffed, seated on a curb outside, and not allowed back in their home until more than 10 hours after the shooting.
Police have released few details about the incident and have only confirmed that the officers opened fire and that there is a state investigation underway.
“Upon arrival, a person was confronted and shots were fired,” Ocoee police Sgt. Bob Rivera said. “The investigation is ongoing by The Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”
The officers involved have been confirmed to be Carlos Anglero and Stephanie Roberts – who are both under internal investigation for other matters.
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Apparently, Anglero is being investigated in connection with allegations of a cover-up he brought forth involving former Ocoee police Lt. Brad Dreasher.
According to police records, two officers with the West Orange Narcotics Task Force – which includes both Orange County and Ocoee cops – said that they had different informants who claimed over a year ago that Dreasher had ties to the “West Orange Gang.”
Despite claims the gang bought off the lieutenant with drugs and money, it is still unclear if the allegations are true, and nobody in the department seems to know why as no proper investigation into the accusations has been conducted.
“What did the task force do with this information as far as you know?” one Ocoee officer was asked by an Orange County investigator.
“I mean we didn’t, we didn’t investigate,” Officer Gregory Hegyes said. “We didn’t really do a whole lot with it.”
The Hegyes interview occurred during a meeting between the two police forces after questions arose regarding who was looking into the matter.
Officer Anglero alleged a possible cover-up and said at the meeting, officers were told by investigators, “We’re not looking into this anymore. It’s over. It’s done. Don’t talk about this anymore.”
Having never investigated the allegations in the first place, the Orange County sheriff’s Office then conducted an investigation to prove the agency didn’t cover anything up.
Officers with both departments say the confusion stemmed from the belief that the FBI was investigating the matter, but Ocoee police now say that “there are on-going investigations, but we will not, at this time, comment about who those investigation are on or who/what they are about.”
Don’t worry however, they assure the public that they “are in no way covering up for anyone and will present all investigations in their due time.”
The bungling of the shooting incident and the alleged cover-up make one thing clear: the Ocoee police department is in dire need of proper training, reform, or outright abolition.
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Article originally published at Police State Daily