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DIALING 9-1-1 MAY RUIN YOUR LIFE
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
Canadian Mounties smashed down the door of a North Vancouver, British Columbia, woman's home and injured her guest when she accidentally dialed the 9-1-1 emergency number instead of 4-1-1 for telephone information.
When Marget Lieder of North Vancouver accidentally dialed 9-1-1, she says she just simply hung up and dialed 4-1-1. What followed was something out of a Stephen King's horror novel.
Mounted Police broke down her door and arrested her and her guest
Larry Pierce, who happens to be a respected attorney in Vancouver,
according to WorldNetDaily.
Lieder said she refused to allow the officers who arrived on her doorstep into her home, preferring to speak to them only on her front porch. From that vantage point, she said the officers could see "the peaceful atmosphere" in her living room.
"They didn't have a search warrant and they didn't have anything to do in my house," she is quoted as saying by WND.
Assuring the two RCMP officers there was no problem, Lieder returned inside her home.
But that didn't end the episode.
The two Mounties returned with an additional three officers and insisted on being allowed into her home for an inspection. When Lieder continued to deny them access, they broke down the door and arrested her and Pierce on the charge of obstruction of justice.
While Lieder wasn't injured during the police raid on her home, Pierce claims he suffered two cracked ribs.
"I was sitting on the couch. They stuck a Taser in my face, threatening me with 50,000 volts," he said. "They threw me on the floor, twisted my left arm. A police officer stuck his knee into my ribs and jumped on me."
While still in the house, the police officers started to tape-record their conversations with Lieder and Pierce in spite of the fact that they had not been read their rights, the pair said. Later, Pierce claims he was interrogated for over an hour at the jail.
The couple were taken to the provincial court the following day, although they were subsequently released before being brought before a judge.
"They arrested me in slippers and a T-shirt," complained Pierce. "After the [prosecutor] told them to let me go, they just shoved me out in the rain. I had 43 cents in my pocket."
Pierce, who is a attorney specializing in disability cases, told reporters that he and Miss Lieder are planning a lawsuit against the RCMP. As a first step they've directed the authorities to preserve all tapes and records associated with the case, including the mistaken 9-1-1 call that initiated the incident.
"The list is pretty long for what we can sue them for," he said, referring specifically to false arrest, false imprisonment, trespass and assault.
North Vancouver RCMP spokesman Constable John MacAdam said in a statement that police are obliged to search the premises after a hang-up 9-1-1 call.
"When a 9-1-1 call has been placed, whether or not it is mistaken, we have the right to attend that residence and to search that residence to make sure that the safety of everyone (there) is confirmed," he told reporters.
His statement claimed that the police actions are "particularly necessary in instances of spousal abuse where it's very common for the victim to say that everything is fine, only for the RCMP to find out upon searching the residence that police involvement is needed."
"In most cases people are going to understand our job and why we are in the residence. They understand that we have to have a quick look," said MacAdam adding that the policy is based on a 1999 Canadian Supreme Court decision.
It states: "Police have the authority to investigate 9-1-1 calls, but whether they may enter dwelling houses in the course of such an investigation depends on the circumstances of each case and that the intrusion must be limited to the protection of life and safety."
MacAdam told the local newspaper, the North Shore News, that while he cannot comment on this incident, police are supposed to use a minimal amount of force needed to control that situation.
Pierce told North Shore News that his rights were violated and he will go ahead with a law-suit. "The list is pretty long for what we can sue them for." His list of possible civil charges includes false arrest, false imprisonment, trespass and assault.
"There's a number of questions in my mind about why [the RCMP] behaved the way they did and what other information they have and what other information they are hanging onto," Pierce said to North Shore News.
During a telephone call by NewsWithViews.com to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's "E" Division, which has jurisdiction in British Columbia, NWV was told the case is under investigation and no information will be released to the news media at this time.
"Cops are sometimes placed in a no-win situation in which if they do nothing they're criticized if a crime occurs, and if they do something they're criticized for overreaction," former New York City Police detective Sid Francis told NewswithViews.com.
But he quickly adds, "Based on what I've read about this case and what [NewswithView.Com] is reporting, these Mounties were way out of line with the tactics they used. Way out of line."
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