TURTLE CREEK, PA — Police officers barged into a woman’s home because they wanted to arrest the owner because of the length of the front lawn. A tenant answered the door and recorded the rude, obscenity-spewing cops making demands and entering her home, despite the fact that she wasn’t even the person listed on the warrant.
The incident occurred on May 29, 2013. Robyn Ruckman discovered that no less than five police officers were waiting outside. Two were from the Turtle Creek Police Department, two were from East Pittsburgh Police, and one was from the Allegheny County Housing Authority.
As Ms. Ruckman answered the door, police treated her rudely and started making demands. She told them her name but that wasn’t good enough. They wanted her to produce ID.
“You know, I don’t even see a nametag,” Ruckman told the lead officer.
“I don’t give a sh*t what you see. Go get your ID,” the officer growled. “You see that?! It says POLICE.”
After asking them to stay outside, officers barged into her home.
“No, I can’t wait here, because I think you’re trying to avoid us,” one of the officers said.
Police were performing a 12-hour roundup of the town’s code violators, such as those accused of having uncut grass.
Ms. Ruckman got off easy after she proved her identity; she was just a tenant. The team of officers had been sent after her landlord, Roben Edwards, who had fallen on hard times as she fell ill and struggled with ovarian cancer.
East Pittsburgh Police Chief Lori Payne defended the officers, saying that entering the home is necessary because the woman might have “come back with a shotgun.”
* * * * *
FOLLOW-UP: No officers were fired or disciplined following the incident.
Mayor Adam Forgie approved of the officer’s actions and said they behaved appropriately.
“I think my men did exactly what they were trained to do,” he said. “They were looking out for their own safety and their partners’ safety.”