CHIEF RESPONDS: We Knocked For ’10-12 Seconds’

Ankeny police are defending their use of force to enter a Des Moines home on a warrant looking for items related to a stolen credit card.

Surveillance video shows about a dozen police officers in full tactical gear breaking down the door of a home seconds after pounding on the side of the house and going in.

Watch the original story

When we first saw this surveillance tape we had a few questions.

1) Why was this much force needed for a white collar crime?
2) Why did police rip a surveillance camera off the front of the house?
3) And did officers knock first, as they are required to..before entering the home?

During a press conference, Ankeny’s police chief says officers did follow protocol when it comes to knocking.

“We understand the media has to some time boil that down due to time restraints,” said Chief Gary Mikulec. “But sometimes in boiling it down you miss what really happened and the fact that we were out there knocking on this house for 10-12 seconds.”

Watch Ankeny Police’s response in full

But the video tells a different story. From the time officers begin banging on the house, to the time they use the battering ram to get in, is about five seconds.

Police argue that because people can be seen hiding in the video, that proves they had time to respond. “It clearly shows that we knocked, it clearly shows that they heard us and instead of ascending the stairs coming up the stairs to meet us, they fled and they all his in that house,” Chief Mikulek said.

Lawyer: Amount of force ‘Mind boggling’

But Peter Berger, an attorney representing the family who owns the house says “If that happened in my house I would probably want to run and hide too. And that’s the other problem I have with the Ankeny police chief saying what he said – that the end justifies the means. That people are hiding we’re OK to batter down the door. That’s wrong,” Berger said.

We also questioned why a police officer ripped a security camera off the front of the house even after police were already inside.

“We disarm that or take it apart or take it down so that was it’s not going to give our position or compromise us as we’re following up or going up to this,” said Sgt. Royal Kerchee, the SERT Team leader.

Read the search warrant

Finally, was this kind of force necessary? Ankeny police say yes. One of the people named in the warrant, Richard Adair, was wanted on a drug warrant. Another person named, Justin Ross, is a disabled veteran with no criminal history, but he does have a permit to carry a weapon. Because Adair knows someone with a gun and has a drug history, and because there are security cameras in the home, police argue, he’s dangerous.

“(He’s) associated with people who were known to have and carry weapons and by that association they had access to those weapons,” Chief Mikulec said.

Adair does not have a recent violent criminal history, he has two assault charges and a domestic assault charge from more than ten years ago.

“I’m worried less about violent history as I do about the fact that people on methamphetamine are not real predictable,” Chief Mikulec said. “So it’s the unpredictable nature of people who do drugs that have access to weapons that don’t want to be apprehended that tells me that we have to take some pretty serious precautions.”

The family has spoken with a lawyer and may go forward with a suit against the department. They say they allowed two of the suspects to stay with them for a while because those two were homeless. Family members insist they didn’t know there were drugs in the house and insist, based on the warrant, the search was excessive.

So far, the investigation has led to charges against three people.

Randy Williams, 25, is charged with conspiracy to commit a felony and misdemeanor theft. Police say he admitted to stealing a wallet with the credit cards inside.

Richard Adair, 35, faces multiple felony drug offenses and false use of credit cards.

Miranda Scigliano, 27, is also charged with false use of a credit card along with felony drug possession.

Police say they are searching for three more people as part of the credit card theft investigation.

26 comments

  • Brent Busch

    I can’t really stand Al Franken but I can’t help but think of the title of his book “lying lies and the liars who tell them” when I see the chief’s response.

  • Ron Smith

    Banging on the wall of your house does not constitute “knocking”. I would be thinking “what on earth is hitting against my wall”. At any rate 5 secs is not enough time to get up and open the door unless you were standing there with your hand on the door knob.

  • Ian Heiding

    Get used to seeing it. It’s the shape of things to come. This is a small fraction of a law enforcement militia beginning to take shape nation wide. These are drills they will justify to be able to continue their practice. If you think this is just another case of good guys vs. bad guys, you are missing the point. Do some research. Compare the footage shown to videos of military training drills. Take the thought of suspected petty thieves out of this and look again. Ask yourself what REALLY took place here. It’s not excessive force it’s the intension of extreme force. Crazy rant? I hope you are right.

  • Ian Heiding

    OH! aaahhhh Oh yea…”Police say they were concerned because there was a gun in the house. The gun is owned by a disabled veteran who lives in the home. He DOES NOT have a criminal record and DOES have a permit to carry the gun.” Soooo…are you telling me this was a part of the probable cause for a tactical operation? And how would the police have known that ahead of the raid? Because the statement would lead you to think they did. It WAS a concern BEFORE they went in right? They said…it was. Could it be the permit? The REGISTERED gun? Are you really still reading this crazy rant?

  • taylor

    Ok.. one other thing that keeps getting left out is that the search warrant that was supposed to be executed was for credit card theft. How is using that much force warranted for a credit card thief? They didn’t know who was behind that door. Heck. No one could have been there and then Sallie would still had broken down doors and anxiety. Thank goodness Justin is well tempered and military trained. If he hadn’t holstered his weapon and waited for the police, he would probably be dead!

  • John Dean Heidenreich

    They chose to enter the way that they did because they knew ahead of time that Justin did have a weapon and secondly that he’s a vet thathe know’s how to use it, not because he’s a criminal or the gun was illegal.
    American’s and vets in particular are the enemy now, not Al CIA da. I would like to know if the ‘officers’ that destroyed the surveillance cams and video will be prosecuted for desctruction of private property and evidence?

  • Chad P.

    “Because Adair knows someone with a gun and has a drug history, and because there are security cameras in the home, police argue, he’s dangerous.”

    So if you have a gun, drugs(alcohol, prescriptions, pot) and a security system in your house you are a dangerous person?? How dose that make sense????

  • William Denison

    The APD seem to be abunch of bullies and are corrupt liars. To stop this from happening to you vote out the party that wants to run America like a prison camp out of office. VOTE OUT THE GOP.

  • Anonymous

    Are you all forgetting that they had security cameras on the outside of the house? Which means they knew that the police were there BEFORE they knocked, or pounded on the wall. 5 seconds is sufficient enough time to warn someone – especially when all they had to do was look at one of the security cameras. The officer didn’t “destroy” it until after they were already on camera & known to be there. When you are faced with a situation where firearms are a potential hazard, you should do everything possible to protect yourself. Just because this guy had a legal permit, and a legal right to carry DOES NOT mean that he won’t use it on anyone and everyone he can. Thankfully he did not & he was smart enough to put it down before anyone got hurt. Yes the warrant was initally for credit card fraud, but upon further investigation PRIOR to entering the home, they were given much more information regarding the suspects hiding there. Don’t believe me, get the police report. They were dealing with CRIMINALS with GUNS and DRUGS. I’m not going to change any of your minds, and that is okay. But STOP making the CRIMINALS out to be the good guys here. They broke the law. Plain and simple. They need to be punished. And the homeowner is just as guilty for taking them in – lesson learned – don’t house people you don’t know. It’s unfortunate how many of you are so quick to judge the APD & how they do their job. I would like for you to trade places with them & try to do their job & be faced with potentially deadly situations & then come back on here and give an opinion. They are doing their JOB. They don’t come to your place of work and tell you how to do yours…
    As you well know, nothing is going to come of this. The homeowners aren’t going to get one dime from the APD given they had a judge already sign off on the search warrant. So, that being said, getting on a public forum to voice your assanine opinions on how terrible the police are – is certainly not going to get you anywhere. But go ahead – keep ranting…it’s fun to read.

    • Anonymous

      And does anyone else find it odd that interior rooms in the house were locked & according to the homeowner – “she keeps them locked when her son is home…” Things that make you go hmmm…

  • Cynical

    hey lemmings, wonder why WHO and KCCI are having so much coverage and updates on this? Any guess what time of the year it is for them?

    • The Rural Iowegian

      After a warrant is executed, the police have X amount of time to return the warrant as executed, just as they have a set time that they have to execute the warrant once a judge has signed it. The Feb 5th date would be the return date.

  • Brian

    I really want to be mad a police here, and feel sorry for these people but I can’t. One serious problem I have with them is the fact they they had an extremely elaborate security system, with cameras facing all directions. Then they claim, “family members insist they didn’t know there were drugs in the house”.

    Uhm… so does the normal family invite homeless drug dealers or users into their home and have a security system that rivals most banks? I don’t think so.

    • Anonymous

      Um, try again. The warrant was EXECUTED on 01.30.2014. It was presented & signed by the judge on 01.28.2014. The file stamp means NOTHING – just that it was FILED (as in – a file cabinet).

  • Larry

    So nobody really cares that Aaron Brilbeck’s story is full of falsities and inaccuracies?? THe first story…he claims that nobody being sought in the case was arrested in the house, but yet Scigliano and Adair’s names are right there on the first page of the warrant that he showed a picture of in his own story?!?!?! Secondly, he claims that the worst thing on anybody’s criminal history was a theft…look at Iowa Courts Online…Drug Charges and Burglaries….those are much worse than “a theft”. He has done this before and he will do it again…he lies to make his stories more grandiose.

  • mrsmarkfb

    Whoa! 10-12 whole entire seconds, huh? Wow! Sometimes it takes me that long just to get my hiney off the couch.

  • Ian Heiding

    Practice raid for gun confiscation. Crime, criminals and all other circumstances were a mere convenience to be able to pull this off.

    You think the government won’t come and get your guns? Take a good look at this family’s video footage. This is what it will look like.

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