After 19 hours of tough talk, rhetoric, breaking news reports, and tension, the Sheriff’s department in Galena, Kansas realized that at no time had the suspect they were after actually been inside the home they had just destroyed.
A SWAT truck with a battering ram attached was used to poke holes and tear apart the house in an attempt to drive the nonexistent suspect out. As deputies became unable to find him, they began taking their frustration out on couches, beds, lamps, clothing, toys, and even the family’s Christmas tree was ripped through a window and smashed to bits.
The entire time, Nita Lane, the homeowner, was trying to tell the cops that Alexius was not there and does not live there.
The sheriff, quite expectedly, remains unapologetic. Despite being told by the victim that Alexius was not in her house, [Sheriff David] Groves maintains that his officers acted in the best possible manner.
“It appeared using that tool [infra-red camera] there was somebody in the attic. As it turns out, now we know that was incorrect. But nonetheless that was the information we were operating under at the time,” said Groves.
The Joplin Globe manages to capture the shifting narrative coming from the Sheriff’s department as they slowly realized their mistake. First the site reported on the “standoff.”
A man wanted on felony charges in Missouri has been holed up overnight in the attic of a house in Galena and refusing to surrender.
Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said local, state and federal law enforcement officers involved in the standoff have reason to believe Doug Alexius, 40, of Joplin is armed, although no shots have been fired.
Later the Globe reported the embarrassing truth:
A fugitive wanted on felony charges in Missouri was believed to be holed up overnight Monday in the attic of a residence in Galena, but authorities said late Tuesday that it turned out that he wasn’t in the home when they searched it.
Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said local, state and federal law enforcement officers late into the day on Tuesday had believed that Doug Alexius, 40, of Joplin, was inside the home and armed, although no shots had been fired.Groves said a search that ended at 5:30 p.m. concluded that Alexius was not in the home.
“Throughout the search, it was believed Alexius was held up in a small portion of the attic, which was not conducive for law enforcement to safely access,” Groves said in a written statement.