Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said he has no excuses for a search warrant on Tuesday that was executed at the wrong house.
Members of the CPSO Anti-Crime and Tactical Team entered a home at General Patch Street to search for Jacoby James, 25, who is wanted on domestic abuse battery charges. Instead, they encountered 79-year-old Herman Weston, his wife, Carol, an adult granddaughter and her 3-week-old baby.
"It was the right address on the warrant, but we just should not have been there," Mancuso said. "We're just wrong."
When they saw the deputies outside, Carol, a retired schoolteacher, said she opened the door.
"They stormed the house, guns drawn, lights on," she said. "(A deputy) said, ‘Put your hands up,' which I did."
Carol said she was handcuffed and walked to the street corner.
"They didn't tell us what was going on; they didn't explain anything to us," she said. "I was no threat to them. I'm thinking, ‘Why me?' "
Mancuso said the ACT team had obtained a "no knock" warrant, but chose to knock after seeing people inside the home. No one was injured during the search, he said.
Carol responded, saying deputies did not knock on the door, but rather entered the home after she opened the door.
Herman — a pastor at the Zion Travelers Missionary Baptist Church in Iowa, La. — said he was "totally embarrassed" by the incident.
"I can't just let this go with an apology because it was definitely wrong," he said. "It goes far beyond that. I could have lost my life."
Cheryl Weston-Dickens, daughter of Herman and Carol, said she was in Houston at the time of the search warrant. Two weeks earlier, she said she was at her parents' home when a deputy showed up, asking where James was. Last week, she said she saw deputies across the street.
"I just felt like there was no due diligence done," Weston-Dickens said.
Mancuso said he met privately with the Westons on Wednesday and apologized.
"They're good people in our community, and they didn't deserve this," he said. "We're a better department than this."
Mancuso said his office is investigating why the search warrant had the wrong address. He said he doesn't know yet if any deputies will be disciplined.
"We should not make mistakes like this," he said. "We're going to get to the bottom of it and make sure we will correct it."
Deputies are actively searching for James, Mancuso said.