Ballardite says SWAT got the wrong guy

On Tuesday, a police SWAT team swarmed Matthew Tucker’s house on NW 63rd Street thinking he was the armed suspect in several pharmacy and coffee stand robberies. They questioned both Tucker and his wife, but then released them. Tucker says police got the wrong guy, and he called TV stations to clear his name. KING 5 has the story here:

Tucker says officers threw him to the ground when they cuffed him, and investigators sifted through his house. “It was very humiliating, and I think it was excessive,” he told KING 5. He says officers targeted him because someone called in a tip that he looked like the security photo of the pattern robber.

Police will only say that Tucker is no longer a suspect, and they are continuing their investigation.


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Silver
Member

Damn! Poor guy! I'm glad he was able to do something to recover his reputation, but so sorry he had to!

bd95
Guest
bd95

An anonymous tip is enough for a warrant?

Ballardista
Guest
Ballardista

They likely staked out the area and crosslisted his photo from the DMV (the one all news media release) and it was a close-enough match. They might have pulled financial records as well, but few would rob a store then deposit a large sum into their bank account.

Dana N.
Guest
Dana N.

It's a relief to know he is no longer a suspect. I am glad they got their chance to be heard. What a mess!

Looking forward to less drama on NW 63rd Street :)

Tim
Guest
Tim

Local news last night broadcast that the warrant was filed AFTER they had searched his house.

Taxpayers will pony up on this one. I'll guesstimate he and his wife will get somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000 each after their suit is filed.

Well done SPD! You guys really did your homework on this one!

What a bunch of retards. Just blowing my money like it's theirs.

squeakywheel
Guest
squeakywheel

That would be horribly embarrasing for those poor people. And having to put your house back together after being basically ransacked would really be the icing on the cake. People should get paid something for that kind of a mistake. Probably not 6 figures though. At least a letter of apology would be nice but I suppose lawyers would use that against the city for more damages so good luck getting that. I thought Sunset Hill an unlikely place for hard core drug users. They would be too obvious to last long there. I used to live a block away from “the bust” and the neighbors there are pretty tight with each other. Riff raff cannot be inconspicuous in that neighborhood.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I think the real crime here is that these people still have Christmas lights up in February.

El Chino Diablo
Guest
El Chino Diablo

No sympathy. Got id'd as a possible robber. They went there and conducted their investigation. NO money for this guy. It will only come out of my taxes which are way too high when the chunky one was in office.

Eagle0101
Guest
Eagle0101

The police do not make mistakes, moral or otherwise.

gobigblue
Member
gobigblue

the story does mention that the police found a camoflauge jacket in the house, similar to the one the actual perpetrator was seen wearing.

i'm guessing somebody saw Tucker wearing his camo jacket and thought he looked similar to the suspect – who was wearing a hood and sunglasses, thus making positively identifying him harder – white male, medium build, short hair.

it's unfortunate that mistaken identities occur in cases like this, but this one doesn't seem like it came from out of nowhere.

Mystech
Guest

This could have ended far worse. There have been numerous case where no-knock warrants or otherwise poorly executed/conceived raids have resulted in shootings of innocent residents under the belief of a home invasion.

Name
Guest
Name

Oops. SO sorry.

Brought the troops in.

Flashed our guns.

Showed off our swanky armored car.

Shut the neighborhood down for 6 hours.

Flew helicopters.

Brought out newscrews.

The neighborhood housewives got to ogle the “swatties” and post about it here as their husbands were at work.

All because of a “tip”.

White male, short hair. Must be him.

Throw him to the ground. Rough him up. Trash the house.

Oops. SO sorry. Wrong guy. Bye.

But it was ALL worth it! Yessiiirrrreeee.

Got the needed photo op to justify our expensive toys. Thanks taxpayer. The world is a dangerous place don't forget!

Boson Bison
Guest
Boson Bison

Bizarre social dynamic at play. The news tells people to “go get this guy,” then local misguided neighborhood crimefighters call in the tip, “That's the guy!!” It's not the guy. A group of “tight neighbors” aren't all necessarily law-abiding themselves. They can gang up on innocent people, people they don't like, or just run people out of town on hearsay, gossip, false information. etc. Why would anyone want to be “tight” with neighbors who are so mean-spirited, predatory, and unconstitutional in their busybody activities? This is from a safe, law-abiding Riff Raff.

Paul
Guest
Paul

bd95, Tim, and Name…You guys think you have the full picture of what went on from a newspaper article? What is wrong with you people? Maybe, just maybe, there was more to this story than you are able to gleen from a short blurb on a local blog site. Try to think that someone out there might actually know more about police work than you, in your infinite monday morning quaterbacking wisdom would normally allow you to think. I know it's gonna be tough…but try.

Name
Guest
Name

Actually Paul, I know more than you think. I live in this neighborhood, I was THERE. I saw what happened. And you? In your infinite wisdom were where again?

Right.

Anyway, this whole operation was ridiculous from the start. We thought there was a guy in the house threatening to shoot someone.

Turns out there was a white guy that looked like a white guy with a hood and sunglasses on, and oh yeah, it wasn't him. Oops.

We'll see how you feel Paul when the police do this to you because you “look like a criminal.” Check back in then. K?

SeattleDailyPhoto
Guest
SeattleDailyPhoto

When I first saw the photo on My Ballard, I thought it was a shot of our own Geeky Swede blog author wearing sunglasses and a hoodie. I've seen him about the neighborhood several times over the years filming at events. Then I read the article that went with the still video picture and realized it was about a crime suspect's photo and not Mr. GS at all. It also looks like Justin Timberlake incognito. The point is, it looks like a lot of people. Seriously. Whatever citizen called in a tip surely didn't call it in simply because of the resemblance, they probably combined the visual similarity with other concerns or suspicions. Can you imagine, if it were you accused, how frightening it would be to be arrested in the manner this guy was. Several times I've had people who came up to me, called me by another name, sure that I'm someone they knew. This coulda been me, or even Mr. Geeky Swede, or you. I hope the suspect is caught, and I hope none of us is the victim of mistaken identity. I imagine the mistaken Ballard guy and the police department will each experience negative repercussions… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

Name-I've been a cop for over 10 years. Your qualification to comment on all matters police related appear to be limited to being in close proximity to one incident. Check back in when you're willing to do more than monday morning quarterback, k?

taxpayer
Guest
taxpayer

paul, you are a dumba$$ and people like you cost taxpayers money, btw I hope you are not on the clock

Paul
Guest
Paul

taxpayer…Clever! Name calling. Wow, you shut down my argument handily. I know more about police procedure than all your reading of blogs will ever teach you. Now, climb back down your hole and continue to pretend you have a valid opinion on something.

squeakywheel
Guest
squeakywheel

Wow, are you a nattering nabob of negativity! What on earth makes you think the neigbors had anything to do with it? They were submitting messages here, none of which suggested they knew the slightest about what was going on. They later expressed sympathy for the people. Yikes you are hateful, I feel sorry for you. By the way, none of them I knew think like you do. They were great people who all looked out for each other. They didn't spy on each other for the police or anyone else. Sheesh!

Fed Up
Guest
Fed Up

First: Warrants are issued on Probable Cause. Not anonymous tips. A judge reviewed the affidavit and agreed that there was probable cause to arrest this guy and to search his home.

Second: The SWAT team did not ransack this man's house. The detectives probably moved items when searching for evidence.

Third: (For Tim) Hey smart guy, Warrants are always filed with the court AFTER they are served. The warrant will then show when it was served and what items were seized. There is no conspiracy here. They are approved by a judge prior to service. Watching Law and Order does not make you an expert.

To Mystech–this was not a no knock warrant or a raid. The SWAT team was ensuring the home was safe so that detectives could safely search it.

Like Paul says, there is always more to the story. But why let the facts get in the way of your hatred of SPD.

squeakywheel
Guest
squeakywheel

And another thing about the cost of this. The armoured wagon and the cops are already paid for. It isn't like we ran out and bought them just for this single event. OK, so it didn't go well. But with lunatics shooting at cops lately like it is the latest fashion I would want some protection around me if someone expects me to go into a building where someone might be armed to the teeth. Maybe one of you who has never been shot at can go up and ring the doorbell in your sneakers and tie-dyed t-shirt and see what happens when the drug addict who answers shoves some heat in your face!

Name
Guest
Name

Paul, thank you for your service. I actually have quite a bit of experience around police work having both family members and friends serving as officers.

This incident seems to indicate that not enough homework was done BEFORE this operation was initiated. The fact is, this massive operation turned up nothing and an innocent man was thrown to the ground, a house was trashed, a community was militarized for 6 hours, helicopters were flown ($$$$$), and what we got in return was ziltch. All because a white guy looked like another white guy (under hood and glasses?)?

This house may have had prior unrelated activity associated with it but it doesn't mean THIS guy has anything to do with that or that because of this activity he's a targeted suspect. And let's hope a hope of all hopes the SPD didn't pull the trigger on this op based on a “tip” or eye witness call. My god, those are notoriously wrong.

Really, it boils down to this: If they did enough work PRIOR to this huge op then they would have nabbed the right guy. Seems like common sense at this point.

Name
Guest
Name

Paul, thank you for your service. I actually have quite a bit of experience around police work having both family members and friends serving as officers.

This incident seems to indicate that not enough homework was done BEFORE this operation was initiated. The fact is, this massive operation turned up nothing and an innocent man was thrown to the ground, a house was trashed, a community was militarized for 6 hours, helicopters were flown ($$$$$), and what we got in return was ziltch. All because a white guy looked like another white guy (under hood and glasses?)?

This house may have had prior unrelated activity associated with it but it doesn't mean THIS guy has anything to do with that or that because of this activity he's a targeted suspect. And let's hope a hope of all hopes the SPD didn't pull the trigger on this op based on a “tip” or eye witness call. My god, those are notoriously wrong.

Really, it boils down to this: If they did enough work PRIOR to this huge op then they would have nabbed the right guy. Seems like common sense at this point.

Name
Guest
Name

” A judge reviewed the affidavit and agreed that there was probable cause to arrest this guy and to search his home.”

Oops. They didn't arrest him. Sorry, wrong there chief. In fact, they released him and he's no longer a suspect. Hmmm. Good call on that one!