ATF Agents Conduct Wrong-Door Drug Raid on Elderly Woman, Narrowly Avoid Shooting Her Son

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms didn't so much as knock when they mistakenly raided the house of an elderly woman in Charlotte, New York, last week. Nancy Dominicos' was sitting in her living room when three agents came in through her unlocked back door with guns drawn. 

“I thought it was a family member pulling a joke on me," Dominicos told WHEC-TV. "And all of the sudden I looked up and they were in my dinning room pointing a loaded gun at me telling me they had a federal warrant to search my premises.” 

Not only did they threaten Dominicos, but they come close to using deadly force on her son, who was upstairs when the agents entered his mother's house: 

“My son had heard me arguing with this man and it was not a voice he'd recognize. My son is a hunter, he put a bullet in the chamber of his gun. They heard that, they yelled down long gun, at that point there he told another ATF agent that was with me, handcuff her and take her out,” Dominicos said.

Thankfully Dominicos' son recognized it was law enforcement and put the gun down right away. Dominicos says the handcuffs caused bruises and as she was going outside with an ATF agent she heard him say they had the wrong house. The ATF and Rochester police executed a number of search warrants Wednesday night. Police sent us a statement, saying they entered the home through an unlocked side door and quote:

"Upon encountering an elderly resident, the team realized that they were at the wrong location at that time and left the premises."

Charlotte is in the Finger Lakes area of New York, which means that this is the second time in the last four months an elderly person in that region has been a victim of a wrong-door raid. In March, police working under the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force raided the home of 76-year-old Fred Skinner

Dominicos, like many survivors of police raids, says the raid has changed her. “I'm still terrified," she told WHEC. "It's almost like a P.T.S.D. experience, you keep hearing things. You think oh my God I hear a door slam, I hear someone pulling into my driveway. I see a light it's like oh my God are they back?”

Reason spoke to another victim of a wrong-house raid last year. "I feel safe in my home–but so far, I remember the guns pointing at my face when I look at my front door," Alex Clemens told us. "Every. Single. Time." 

Stories like those two abound. Raids don't just destroy property, they destroy a person's sense of safety and well-being. “My son screamed for his mother for what seemed like an eternity,” an Idaho head shop owner wrote after his home was raided by federal agents and his children were taken out of their beds. “I will never forget the hopeless feeling of not being able to comfort my son or daughter.”

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If she didn't want raided, she shouldn't be living at an address not dissimilar enough from a drug dealer's. Or in a country where federal agents don't take their deadly force potential seriously.

  • Raston Bot||

    Yeah, she should move to Portugal. Problem solved, whiny ass bitch.

  • Pi Guy||

    Whooly Jeebus! How fucking hard is it to do a little site recon before just busting thru doors?

  • robc||

    Or, a better question, how fucking hard is it to knock?

    If they had knocked, she would have politely answered and it would have been cleared up while on the porch.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Well if a frog had wings, something about Christmas.

  • WTF||

    She's lucky she didn't have any dogs.

  • DJF||

    They should arrest the woman for not locking her rear door. The ATF did not even get the pleasure of kicking her door in.

  • WTF||

    This sort of inconvenience is a small price to pay for the security of being free of knowing somebody might be engaging in a voluntary transaction to get high.

  • CE||

    Except even if that were the price, it's not working.

  • wareagle||

    how does an allegedly professional agency consistently get the wrong address? You know, as the drone program expands - and you know law enforcement will eventually co-opt it - these stories will not have similar endings.

  • John||

    For the same reason the Secret Service, the alleged best of the best, can have its agents out banging and failing to pay Colombian hookers when they are supposed to be a low profile advance security team for the President; these agencies are not professional anymore. They no longer have any sense of duty to the country or the mission. They only way to fix any of them is to scrap them and start over. And start over with a commitment to standards and professionalism rather than diversity and careerism.

  • some guy||

    I blame nepotism and cronyism.

  • Chris Mallory||

    Why start over? We only have 3 crimes listed in the Constitution. The Navy and Coast Guard can handle piracy. Counterfeiting is now legal, the Fed does it all the time. That leaves treason, which we have seen isn't punished any more. Obama just committed treason with his amnesty and nothing is going to happen to him

  • R C Dean||

    Apparently, the Secret Service has been partying down when the Prez goes to Martha's Vinyard as well.

    Rotten to the core. My proposal: get rid of the Secret Service security details altogether. Replace them with Marines, in fatigues, with an urban combat loadout. Let's quit pretending we don't have an imperial presidency with a Praetorian guard.

  • CE||

    The only way to fix any of them is to scrap them and start over. And start over with a commitment to standards and professionalism rather than diversity and careerism.

    FIFY.

  • Rich||

  • LarryA||

    how does an allegedly professional agency consistently get the wrong address?

    Particularly when it's a months-long investigation involving multiple addresses, as the story makes this one sound.

    It's not like they don't have GPS and all that other military stuff.

  • John||

    You really have to be a sick sadistic fuck to do this. I understand the initial entry. But after it is clear it is a woman and her son the only reason to continue to act this way is out of sadism. These agents are just fucking animals. They are not even human beings.

  • ||

    I'm sure she had no problem voting the drug warriors into office.

  • ||

    "they destroy a person's since of safety"

  • Mike Riggs||

    I just slapped my own face (and fixed that error).

  • ||

    Spelling is my sixth sense.

    I see gohsts.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I have a dinning room in my house too. It's where I lock a bunch of teamers in there and just let them screech and squeal. And then when I want a headache, I just step inside for a few minutes.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    Drug laws = Tyranny

    And on that sunny note, have a great day one and all.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    And why are the ATFE agents doing drug raids?

  • Chris Mallory||

    Probably some kind of joint Fed/local task force to clear warrants. We had Federal Marshals helping the local sheriff arrest child support outlaws one time.

  • R C Dean||

    They gotta run up their numbers to justify their budget.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Maybe we all need to erect huge billboards in front of our house:
    "Attention all Law Enforcement Officers. This is 867 OAK STREET.
    Please verify you have the right address before kicking in my door and shooting my dog." Then again, you'd probably get a visit from the Sign Ordinance officer.

  • Loki||

    Thankfully Dominicos' son recognized it was law enforcement and put the gun down right away.

    IOW, he STOPPED RESISTING. I'm surprised they gave a chance to drop the gun. I'm sure they'll have some additional training to rectify that behavior.

    "Upon encountering an elderly resident, the team realized that they were at the wrong location at that time and left the premises."

    And nothing else happened? I'm guessing they didn't even apologize to the old lady they just terrorized.

    Raids don't just destroy property, they destroy a person's sense of safety and well-being.

    Feature, not bug.

  • R C Dean||

    "Upon encountering an elderly resident, the team realized that they were at the wrong location at that time and left the premises."

    See, that's just a lie. They didn't leave when they "encountered" her. They pointed a gun at her, handcuffed her, dragged her out of her house.

  • JSebastian||

    Again, when these thugs must suffer the PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES of these assaults and aggressions (the rational response to an armed group of people busting into your home would be to kill them before they kill you!), these abuses will continue.

    Perhaps what is needed is for citizens to conduct some raids on government facilities, busting in with guns drawn, if resistance encountered shooting those resisters, then declaring it all to be a mistake. Is that any less legitimate or defensible than what the State does to citizens?

  • Brendan||

    Agreed.

  • LarryA||

    That sounds a bit risky.

    I bet we could seriously discourage wrong-door bustings if everyone involved, from judge to secretary to tail-end charlie, had to go through a month of remedial how-to-be-a-civilian training, sans pay.

    I'd love to design the curriculum.

  • Brendan||

    We need to revisit residential construction. We need burglar resistant windows and doors and their respective frames.

    It might slow down law enforcement, but that's OK. It's all about civilian safety, going/staying home at the end of the day, etc.

    A cop with a valid warrant can either knock on the fucking door, or tear the outside wall down. Some well placed bollards/planters might make that difficult.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Won't work, they'll just buy more tanks.

  • Mensan||

    In college I had a job delivering pizzas. I never delivered a pizza to the wrong address. I didn't have GPS, satellite photos, and surveillance crews. All I had was a poorly photocopied map and my eyes, but I somehow always managed to find the correct house. My point is: ATF agents are not even intelligent enough to delivery pizzas.

  • CE||

    Yeah, but you're in Mensa.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    "I will never forget the hopeless feeling..." If we could only bottle that and distribute it to libertarian activists, Libertarian candidates would sweep the country in November. And drug legalization would be approved nationwide, in special elections called well before then.

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