Florida police responded to a burglar alarm and are now accused of holding an 11-year-old girl at gunpoint. According to local news station WFTV, officers James Festa and John Rigdon used excessive force while answering a burglary call.
According to the 11-year-old girl’s family, the two police officers entered through the garage door to get inside of the house. The officers had their guns drawn. At the time they entered, the girl was in her bedroom watching television. At that point, she was forced to get down on the floor at gunpoint.
Speaking with Channel 9, the 11-year-old girl, whose name was not released, explained the ordeal.
“One of the officers was pushing me down and when he was pushing me down, (he) put his knee on me and the other officer had his gun pointed at me. I was very scared and didn’t know what to do.”
11-year-old girl tells story of cops forcing her to floor at gunpoint — http://t.co/0B9wJqFYpz pic.twitter.com/PR5XtXzjwj
— WPXI (@WPXI) January 31, 2015
As it turns out, police were responding to a burglary alarm that was accidentally tripped when Jean Guirand returned home. That said, it’s reported that the police didn’t announce themselves, and according to the report, proceeded to shout at the 11-year-old. At the time, the whole family was home when police entered the home.
The 11-year-old girl’s father, Jean Guirand, has decided to file a complaint. The local police department promised the family that they would “conduct an internal investigation.”
According to Jean, his daughter was traumatized by the incident. It’s obvious he wants justice, telling reporters, “Someone should get fired for doing something like that to an 11-year-old.”
The chief of the department told WFTV that he will take the allegations seriously and investigate, but wouldn’t publicly comment on the situation.
According to Raw Story, this isn’t the first time that officers Festa and Rigdon have been in hot water. In December, Festa botched a child abuse case, and back in 2013 was also suspended for sleeping while on the job. As for Rigdon, back in May the officer was suspended, and in 2013 he was demoted from corporal. His first incident happened back in 2011 when he was reprimanded for filing false police reports.
Here’s the interview with the Guirand family.
[Image via Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock]