A man in Middletown is seen being led to a police cruiser after the execution of a search warrant on Wednesday morning.
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -
Neighbors on one Middletown street said they were woken up with a bang Wednesday morning when a SWAT team was called in to execute a search warrant in an attempt to locate drugs at a home on the corner of Pearl and Grand streets.
Police said non-lethal grenades called flash bangs were used during the execution of the narcotics search warrant because of the suspect's previous criminal history, and they wanted to eliminate a threat before one could be posed.
"The house shook," said Bernadette Graham. "On the side of the driveway I could see lights from the booms coming through the living room window."
Several residents in the area said they heard at least four explosions, and several members of a SWAT team were seen entering a home on the corner of those streets after they were used.
One woman who lives in the area said there was no warning before the bangs, and when she heard them she immediately jumped on top of her daughter because she thought they were gunshots.
"[My] first thought was that we were being attacked," resident Harriet Diaz said.
According to Middletown Police Chief William McKenna, officers used flash bangs and the SWAT team because they believed the suspect, Jason Manns, could be in possession of weapons. The goal of the police was to secure the residence as quickly as possible and bring in the Department of Children and Family to get the kids out as soon as possible, McKenna added.
Manns is facing seven charges including possession of narcotics and five counts of risk of injury to a minor. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.
Witnesses told Channel 3 Eyewitness News that there are a lot of drug problems in the area, and even though there was no warning, they are glad to see police in the area trying to clear it of the drug activity.
"I've been praying for this neighborhood," Diaz said. "I walk and pray as much as I can. I feel every house they knock down, I know another one is going to be there. But, as long as they're persistent, I know something is going to be done."
In a raid three weeks ago, police recovered three weapons and a bullet proof vest, McKenna said. He added the main goal is to make the neighborhood safe.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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