Victory (WSYR-TV) -- A 76-year-old Victory man was caught off-guard when police officers broke through his front door during a drug raid, only to find out they had the wrong house.
Fred Skinner was enjoying a piece of toast at his breakfast table when he says at least six police officers broke into his house on McNeely Road.
“I had no idea what to do,” Skinner said.
Skinner said he didn't hear anybody coming up to the house. He said the first noise he heard was the police smashing through his porch door, and then his front door, busting it into pieces.
For five minutes, Skinner's house was raided for drugs before police realized they had the wrong house by looking through his mail.
“They tried to put the handcuffs on me. They had my arm back here…then they said, ‘Wrong house,” took the handcuffs off me and just left,” Skinner said.
Auburn police officers were involved in the raid conducted by the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force. Auburn Police Chief Gary Giannotta says he only remembers police raiding a wrong house four times in the last 16 years.
“It was a mistake. We're no different than anyone else. We make mistakes just like everybody else. We try to make sure our information is as current and as reliable as possible. Once in a while we get it wrong. When we get it wrong, we make it right,” explained Chief Giannotta.
Police reimbursed Skinner $1,250 to fix his doors.
“They had a jammer or something they put up to the door that had smashed the door all to pieces,” Skinner said.
The door will be fixed this week, but the memory of police officers yelling at him not to move with their guns drawn will be with him forever.
The Auburn Police Chief said the officers in the raid had to hurry to the correct location once they figured out they were in the wrong house, but someone contacted Skinner soon after to apologize and temporarily fix the door.