When 75-year-old grandmother Ruth Hunter heard her door broken in early in the morning of April 10, she thought her life might be over.
“I thought someone was breaking in to rob or kill me,” she told a TV station in Henrico, Virginia, where she lives alone and generally keeps to herself in the Village at Arbors apartment complex.
But the men who busted her door open were not robbers or criminals. They were the Virginia State Police and they said they had a warrant to search Hunter’s place for drugs — which they did not find for the very good reason that there were no drugs there. The cops had the wrong house.
But that wasn’t the worst thing the police did.
The first thing the police did, after shouting, “police!” when they raided Ruth Hunter’s apartment — was to tie the innocent grandma up in her own bed.
“(The police) took my hands with a tie-thing and said ‘You’re under arrest’ and started asking questions,” she recounted. “The more I told them I didn’t know these people, the more he continued.”
The cops eventually went two doors down, broke into that apartment and got their man. But they left Ruth Hunter restrained with the zip-tie while they raided the correct location.
Before the cops realized they had the wrong apartment, they bombarded the elderly lady with aggressive questions. But even though she was badly shaken, afraid and tied up, Ruth Hunter stood up for herself.
“They asked me if I ever stored drugs for anybody. I said, ‘How dare you insult my integrity?’” Hunter said. “Took my hand and handcuffed me with the ties, and then, after they did that — because they told me I was under arrest, that’s when they proceeded to ask questions.”
The police combed Hunter’s apartment for the drugs that were never there. They also demanded to know if her granddaughter was somehow involved in a drug operation.
“I sat up in my bed, like, ‘How dare you try and bring my granddaughter into this stuff?’ She’s a law-abiding citizen, works for a living. She don’t even like coming here,” the grandma said.
As bad as it was to be raided and tied up by police on a wild goose chase first thing in the morning, what makes Ruth Hunter really upset is that the cops never so much as apologized.
“I’m angry. I’m very angry. I’m very irritated because he never came back and said, ‘Ma’am, I apologize, I’m sorry,’” she told TV station WVTR. “‘He said, ‘Oh, you can get somebody to fix your door.’”
The Virginia State Police did not comment, saying that the drug investigation that mistakenly ensnared Ruth Hunter remains active.