Menlo Park Cops Raided Wrong House, Says Claimants in Lawsuit

Officers accused of raiding wrong home during execution of a Nov. search warrant.

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    When Menlo Park police officers busted into an East Palo Alto home and pointed a firearm at a two-year old girl in November, they had the wrong house, say the two homeowners, who are filing a $500,000 claim against both cities.

    The cops did have a search warrant for a home on Garden Street on Nov. 2, 2010, but it wasn't for the home of Carlos Nava and Melissa Verduzco, whose door cops broke down at 6:45 a.m. that day, reported the Palo Alto Daily News.

    The East Palo Alto City Council rejected the claim on an unanimous vote. The Menlo Park City Council has yet to consider the case.

    According to the claims, "A sergeant Cowans slammed (Nava's) face to the ground and kneed him in the back of the head. Later, this officer punched (Nava) about the body," the newspaper reported.

    Other officers entered Verduzco's room and "pointed laser-sighted firearms" at Verduzco and her 2-year-old daughter, the claims state.

    It's unclear which house cops intended to hit and what they were searching for. Menlo Park cops did not comment on the story, according to the newspaper.

    Because of the alleged botched raid, Nava suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, stutters occasionally and has back and neck problems, the claims state. All three have suffered nightmares and "general fear and violation of their civil rights," according to the claims.

    East Palo Alto City Attorney Valeria Armento said that the case is a Menlo Park matter, not an East Palo Alto matter. All of the raiding was done by East Palo Alto cops.