View Full Version : SWAT team launch dawn raid on family home to collect unpaid student loans

06-09-2011, 12:53 PM
A little over the top?: SWAT team launch dawn raid on family home to collect unpaid student loans

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 5:30 PM on 8th June 2011

A father was dragged from his home and handcuffed in front of his children by a SWAT team looking for his estranged wife - to collect her unpaid student loans. A stunned Kenneth Wright had his front door kicked in by the raiding party at 6 am yesterday before being dragged onto his front porch, handcuffed and led to a police car with his three children. He says he was then detained for six hours while officers looked for his wife - who no longer lives at the house.

Mr Wright was later told by Stockton police that the order to send in the SWAT team came from The U.S. Department of Education who were looking for his estranged wife to collect defaulted loan payments.
Speaking to ABC News 10, a visibly shaken Mr Wright described what happened when he was woken by a banging on his front door. He said: 'I look out of my window and I see 15 police officers. Dressed in his boxer shorts, Mr Wright says he rushed downstairs and was about to open the door when it was kicked open. An officer then grabbed him by the neck before dragging him out onto the front lawn. His 3, 7, and 11-year-old children were also removed by officers and put in a waiting police car. 'He had his knee on my back and I had no idea why they were there,' Mr Wright said. 'They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six hours, traumatising my kids.'

The Department for Education refused to comment on the incident, saying they would not do so until the case was closed. They did however confirm that their Office of the Inspector General had issued the search warrant. The office has its own branch of federal agents that carry out search warrants and investigations.

Mr Wright is now trying to get compensation for the destroyed door. Speaking to ABC, he demonstrated that although the door had been patched up, the handle no longer worked. He said: 'They busted down my door for this. 'It wasn't even me. 'All I want is an apology for me and my kids and for them to get me a new door.' He even had words of advice for anyone thinking of skipping paying their college bills. He added: 'People who have student loans , pay your bills, take care of your credit. 'If you don't belive me, this could be you one morning 6 o'clock.'

WTF? Since when does the Department of Education have the authority to issue search warrants against private citizens?

06-09-2011, 01:33 PM

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Justice for Sal
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Posted by Radley Balko on Monday Jan 17th at 12:00pm
Last week The Washington Post reported that Sal Culosi's parents have reached a $2 million settlement with Fairfax County, Virginia, police Detective Deval Bullock, who shot and killed the 38-year-old optometrist during a January 2006 SWAT raid on his home. The unusual settlement reflects the outrageous facts of this case, in which an unarmed man suspected of nothing more than betting on sports was recklessly gunned down during an unnecessarily violent operation.
The SWAT team came to Culosi's house because another Fairfax County detective, David Baucum, overheard him and some friends wagering on a college football game at a bar. "To Sal, betting a few bills on the Redskins was a stress reliever, done among friends," a friend of Culosi's told me shortly after his death. "None of us single, successful professionals ever thought that betting 50 bucks or so on the Virginia/Virginia Tech football game was a crime worthy of investigation." Baucum apparently did. After overhearing the wagering, Baucum befriended Culosi. During the next several months he talked Culosi into raising the stakes of what Culosi thought were friendly wagers. Eventually Culosi and Baucum bet more than $2,000 in a single day, enough under Virginia law for police to charge Culosi with running a gambling operation. That's when they brought in the SWAT team.
On the night of January 24, 2006, Baucum called Culosi and arranged a time to drop by to collect his winnings. When Culosi, barefoot and clad in a T-shirt and jeans, stepped out of his house to meet the man he thought was a friend, the SWAT team moved in. Moments later, Bullock, who had had been on duty since 4 a.m. and hadn't slept in 17 hours, killed him. Culosi's last words: "Dude, what are you doing?"
Culosi's parents, Sal and Anita Culosi, later learned that police stopped a nurse at Fairfax Hospital, where Culosi's body was taken after the raid, from notifying them that their son, one of three children, had been shot. (The optometrist's father is also named Salvatore, shortened to Sal, although the son was named after an uncle on his mother's side—ironically, a police officer who was killed in the line of duty.) The Culosis did not hear about the raid until five hours after their son had been shot and killed, preventing the devout Catholic family from administering last rites.
In the months that followed, Baucum continued his investigation, badgering Culosi's grieving friends and relatives after pulling their names and numbers from the cell phone he was carrying and a computer taken from his home the night he was killed. Steve Gulley, Culosi's brother-in-law, told The Washington Post the following April that Baucum called him and menacingly asked, "How much are you into Sal for?" Scott Lunceford, a lifelong friend of Culosi's, told the Post Baucum called him and accused him of being a gambler. The calls, Gulley told the paper, smacked of intimidation aimed at discouraging a lawsuit.


06-09-2011, 01:37 PM
SWAT GONE BAD:..Questions surround feds' raid of Stockton home

STOCKTON, CA - A federal education official Wednesday morning offered little information as to why federal agents raided a Stockton man's home Tuesday. The resident, Kenneth Wright, does not have a criminal record and he had no reason to believe why what he thought was a S.W.A.T team would be breaking down his door at 6 in the morning.