In another event that should bring outrage from American citizens, Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves in Galena, Kansas oversaw the destruction of an empty house and claimed that deputies’ lives were in danger as they held a 19-hour standoff with absolutely no one inside the house.
The Joplin Globe first reported:
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.
Groves said sheriff’s deputies, Galena police and agents with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the FBI served a search warrant about 9 p.m. Monday at 1009 E. Fifth St. looking for Alexius and removed a woman and four children from the home. In the course of serving the warrant, they learned that Alexius was hiding in the attic of the single-story houise [sic] and might be armed.
The reputed member of the Joplin Honkies is wanted in Missouri on a misdemeanor count of assaulting a law enforcement officer as well as felony burglary and drug charges. The FBI became involved with the issuance of a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Alexius was wanted on a misdemeanor count of assaulting a law enforcement officer, as well as felony burglary and drug charges. The FBI was even involved, issuing a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
According to Sheriff Groves, “Time is on our side. We have the luxury of being able to rotate officers out. At some point, he’s going to have to come out of there.”
So, all this money and man power was tied up to apprehend Alexius, and yet, what they discovered was that he was not even in the house.
In fact, the sheriff’s office proceeded to destroy the house by using a SWAT truck with a battering ram attached to poke holes in tear apart the house. Not only that, but The Free Thought Project adds, “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.”
Not only that, but during the entire time the sheriff’s office kept the house under siege and were destroying it, the homeowner, Nita Lane, was telling the officers that Alexius was neither in the house nor does he live there.
The sheriff’s department used an infrared camera and determined that there was someone in the attic, but later confessed, “As it turns out, now we know that was incorrect. But nonetheless that was the information we were operating under at the time.”
“Some may suggest you just rush in, and we could have cleared that house in a matter of minutes,” said Groves. “But if there was a suspect in there and would have shot one of our officers or something else happened, and he was able to breach the perimeter and jeopardize the safety of the residents nearby, that’s not a risk I’m willing to take.”
So, he waited nearly 20 hours before doing exactly what he said he didn’t want to do in order to spare the deputies that serve under him.
According to a neighbor, Vonda Makclin, the SWAT team “left holes in ceiling, all the windows were smashed out, holes in were left in the side of the house” and they literally “ripped her Christmas tree apart,” using a set of claws on the front of a vehicle.
So, with the house being ripped apart and Nita Lane’s Christmas destroyed, all because of “bad information” which the sheriff has yet to apologize for, The Free Thought Project set up a GoFundMe account for Lane. Vonda claims, Lane is the type of lady that won’t take anything from anyone.”
According to The Washington Times, “The FBI will pay for damage to a southeast Kansas home where authorities unsuccessfully sought a fugitive.”
Still, as of the writing of this article, nearly $5,300 dollars have been donated to help Lane with repairs and restoration, with no response from the county about repairing the damage to her home.
Calls to the Sheriff’s Office resulted in no administrative personnel available to comment due to the holidays.