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GREELEY, Colo. – A Colorado woman has filed a lawsuit after agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the ATF, entered her home without a warrant and threatened her and her 8-year old-son while looking for a previous tenant who had left the address more than a year earlier.
According to the filing from Linda Griego, it was on June 15, 2010, when officers with the ATF – as part of the Regional Anti-Gang Enforcement Task Force – violently entered her home without a warrant, handcuffed and pointed guns at her and her son, Colby Frias.
“They had multiple machine pistols pointed at my son. I could see the laser sights on his body and he began to freak out. While I was cuffed I had to calm him down while the officers broke down his bedroom door,” she said.
Griego said when the officers arrived on the day of the incident around 6:30 a.m. she was in the shower getting ready for work with the radio on while her son was sleeping in his bedroom. She had just come out of a nasty divorce, and a restraining order was placed on her ex-husband.
“I heard the knocking and rushed out of the shower dressed only in a towel. I went to the window at the front and saw a man knocking on the door, but I could not make out who he was,” Griego said. “I then went around to the back where they were also knocking. My first concern was for the safety of my son, and what if my ex-husband and friends had come by.”
She then saw one of the officers turn, and she made out part of the word SWAT on the back of his uniform. “At that point I realized everything would be OK, since we had done nothing wrong. I told the officers I had just come out of the shower and to give me a minute to get dressed.”
“They had weapons drawn and were pointing them at me. I begged them not to go in because my son was in there.” When they dragged her back into the house, she saw the officers surrounding Frias with their laser sights pointed at him.
“I waited just long enough to throw some clothes on and my hair was still wet, but the officer told me I should have opened the door immediately, regardless of whether I was dressed or not and said I could face consequences for making them wait.”