Dalton police smash in door for wrong house during search - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dalton police smash in door for wrong house during search

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Justin Faulknor is always going to remember what happened at his home on Tuesday night while he was relaxing with his wife after work.

"Is this real? Or is this really what they are doing?" said Faulknor.

Two nights ago Dalton PD was attempting to arrest a man by the name of Eric Ashton who is accused of selling drugs and lives at 1150 Whittle Drive, but they ended up going to the wrong house, two doors down.

"Once they entered the house they were able to determine by the people who lived there, that they were at the wrong location," said Jason Parker, Chief of Police, Dalton Police Department.

Because detectives made a mistake, the door to this home now sits in front of this house until it is disposed of. Faulknor and his wife now have to use this temporary door, the police department has promised to replace it.

"We've made arrangements with the residents there to replace that door right away," said Parker.

Though Faulknor says he was frightened, he says he understands the cops were just doing their job. Dalton PD apologized to Faulknor.

Thursday the chief of police told Channel 3 they are conducting an internal investigation to see if his detectives followed all the procedures when executing a search warrant. The chief tells Channel 3 some of those procedures include identifying the location, and pre-operation briefings.

“Will be reviewing that particular policy and procedure and measuring that against the actions of detectives, to see what may have led to this mistake," said Parker.

Eric Ashton the guy cops were looking for on Tuesday night was taken to jail Thursday morning. He is charged with two counts of selling marijuana, one count of possession of methamphetamine, one count of possession of marijuana, and one count of possession of tools for commission of a crime. Those detectives who executed that search warrant are still on the clock as of Thursday night.

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PREVIOUS STORY: After a search warrant was served, the Dalton Police Department is in the process of reviewing how detectives went to the wrong house late Tuesday night.

Police were attempting to serve the search warrant, and two arrest warrants for Eric Ashton of 1150 Whittle Drive in Dalton.

In a news release, the Dalton Police Department says that drug investigators drug had previously purchased marijuana from Ashton on two separate occasions during an undercover operations.

Detectives spotted the suspect's vehicle in the driveway, and returned later Tuesday night to serve the warrants.

When they returned, detectives mistakenly approached the residence at 1138 Whittle Drive, which police say is nearly identical to the target house at 1150 Whittle Drive.

When no one answered the door, police waited several minutes and then smashed the door in using a battering ram.

Once inside, they learned they were in the wrong house.

Detectives apologized to the residents and the department has repaired damage caused to the residence's front door. A door matching the original door has been ordered and will be installed at the residence.

Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Ashton was later taken into custody Thursday morning on the two arrest warrants without incident.

He has been charged with two counts of selling marijuana, one count of possession of methamphetamine, one count of possession of marijuana, and one count of possession of tools for commission of a crime VGCSA (violation of Georgia Controlled Substances Act). 

The Dalton Police Department says they have “policies and procedures in place to guide officers and detectives in conducting raids and executing search warrants. Officials are currently conducting a review of this incident to determine what procedural errors, if any, may have taken place and ensure that this type of mistake does not happen again.”

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