Police have defended a tactical unit storming two houses in a Canadian city after false reports of a kidnapping.
“The complainants report that they received a text from their son advising that he needed $1,500, and was being threatened with a gun to his head and a knife to his stomach,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement.
“Although the victim was not located, RCMP believe the victim had been in the residences prior in the day.”
The alleged victim was found later at a third location unharmed and with no evidence of a kidnapping, reported CityNews.
Police in the city say that the raids, which homeowners have described as “crazy”, were entirely justified.
“At that time, responding officers had reason to believe that the victim faced imminent, severe bodily harm or death,” said an Edmonton Police Service spokesperson.
“Responding officers in this position do not have the luxury of time and must operate on the best information they have at the time to preserve life.
“Police initiated a breach plan at two residences simultaneously where it was believed the victim may be located.”
Homeowner James Potts described the shocking moment that the police raided his home.
“They had an army tank smashing down the front door,” Mr Potts told the outlet.
“They had several officers enter through the backyard and they took my senior parents and all the kids in the house at gunpoint, forced them to lay on the ground, and zip-tied my son. Crazy, crazy stuff.”
Mr Potts says that armed officers ordered five children, aged between six and 17, and his elderly parents to lie on the ground at gunpoint as they carried out an unsuccessful search of the property.
He says that the experience was so traumatising that his family may sell the home and leave the city.
“The damages are minor, probably $5,000-$6,000 in damages that they did to the house. That can be repaired,” he said. “But what can’t be repaired is the trauma they imposed on these kids. It’s just disgusting.”
RCMP says it is looking into mischief charges in connection to the initial emergency call.