CLEVELAND, TN (WDEF/CNN) – One family was shocked Tuesday when SWAT team officers kicked down their door and threw flash bang grenades inside.
It was all a mistake. Officials actually were looking for the house next door.
"There's kids’ toys all over the place. They probably had to step over kids’ toys, and they still threw three different flash bangs. One hit my son's room. One hit me," Spencer Renck said.
The Drug Enforcement Agency apologized for bursting into the Renck family home with the Bradley County SWAT team.
"I think somebody is breaking into my house,” Renck said. “I go get my gun, trying to protect my family like any dad would do."
The father of four said, with his gun drawn, he feared for his life just before 6 a.m. when he saw police instead of the intruder that he was anticipating.
"As soon as they open the door and I seen all the guns, I just turned around because, like, everybody was saying if I was five steps or three steps up, they would've pulled the trigger. I had a gun, and they think I'm a murder suspect," Renck said.
A suspect was wanted in connection with a woman's killing in Johnson City, TN.
"Situations such as these are tragic, and the DEA takes them very seriously. We intend to look into this matter further and to take steps to ensure that situations such as this never occur again," the DEA said in a statement.
The family was left with a smoke-filled house, damage to their door, but more importantly, the family said their son was left temporarily blind and deaf from the flash-bang grenade.
His parents said he's traumatized.
"I might have to come sleep upstairs with him so he might feel safe in his own house to go to sleep because somebody didn't do their job correctly," Renck said.
He explained how police explained the mixup.
"'The houses look similar.' Really? 'Well, it looks similar and we were told it had a white car.' I had a Yukon and I had a Camry, and they were white. And they said, 'You had white car so we just got your house. It looked similar.' That's not a mistake to make. I mean, hell, you could have looked at the mailbox," Renck said.
Police arrested the murder suspect they were looking for shortly after mistakenly raiding Renck's house.
He said authorities offered to pay for the door they kicked down, but he's not satisfied with that.
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