Mayor’s dogs slain in dubious police raid
It all sounds like something that would take place on the outskirts or Riyadh, rather than D.C, and there’s plenty of dust still to settle, but what’s clear is this: Prince George’s County police officials burst into the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo last week and shot and killed the two family dogs during an investigation into a marijuana delivery.
After the carnage, the Baltimore Sun reports today, the family’s two black labradors, Payton and Chase, lay dead, the mayor sat in his boxers, hands bound behind his back, and his handcuffed mother-in-law was sprawled on the kitchen floor, lying beside the body of one of the pets police killed.
The raiding police officers arrested no one at Calvo’s home near College Park, but they seized an unopened package of marijuana — it being the same one that an undercover officer had delivered an hour earlier.
Thursday, Calvo called for a Justice Department investigation of the raid. He said officers burst into his house without knocking or announcing themselves, in violation of the warrant they had. And he said his wife, Trinity Tomsick, though her name was on the package, was apparently a victim of identity theft.
Police in Arizona intercepted the package, addressed to Tomsic, when a drug-sniffing dog alerted them to the presence of marijuana. An undercover officer in Prince George’s delivered the package and was told by Calvo’s mother-in-law to leave it on the porch, according to Calvo’s attorney, Timothy Maloney.
Prince George’s County police arrested two men involved in a scheme to transport marijuana. Once packages were dropped off by a deliveryman, a conspirator would pick them up — all without the addressee’s knowledge. Police seized a half-dozen packages that contained about 417 pounds of marijuana, including the 32 pounds delivered to Tomsic, the Associated Press reported.
Calvo said shots rang out shortly after police kicked in his door. Officers killed one dog, Payton — named for football running back Walter Payton –after he ”engaged” officers. Calvo confirmed that Payton probably moved toward the door but said it was unlikely he would have harmed the officers.
“He was an aggressive licker,” said Calvo.
Chase was shot while running away from sheriff’s deputies, Calvo said.
Calvo, 37, who has been mayor since 2004, was told to walk backward down the stairs with his hands in the air. Police handcuffed him. His mother-in-law was also cuffed and made to lie on the kitchen floor next to Payton’s body. His wife arrived shortly afterwards to see the blood and dead dogs.
“They were my kids,” said Tomsic, 33, an employee with Maryland’s Department of Human Resources. “All I could see was the blood and the tissue of the dogs.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 8th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: berwyn heights, bust, calvo, civil rights, dogs, investigation, killed, labradors, marijuana, maryland, mayor, news, police, prince georges, raid, shot