GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4)– The man whose home was destroyed during a standoff with police believes officers took extreme measures when they tried to capture the suspect.
“This is a para-military action, done by para-military thugs. This is not a police force,” said homeowner Leo Lech. “To blow holes in every side of this house for one suspect with a handgun.”
Robert Seacat was holed up in the Greenwood Village home for nearly 19 hours before officers were able to take him into custody on Thursday.
Lech is upset at how Greenwood Village police treated his home during the standoff that began Wednesday afternoon and ended about 9 a.m. Thursday. Seacat, 33, barricaded himself inside Lech’s home after seemingly running into it at random.
“If you look at the photos of Osama Bin Laden’s compound I would say his house looks better than mine does,” said Lech.
Lech does not agree with police tactics used that included a robot, explosives and a breaching ram that punctured exterior walls.
“The home is still a crime scene at this point,” said Matt Cohrs, Assistant to the City Manager of Greenwood Village.
According to police, just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday there was a shoplifting reported at a Walmart on East Hampden in Aurora. The suspect, believed to be Seacat, fled in a vehicle to a light rail station where he ditched the vehicle and was seen with a gun. Police attempted to chase him but were unsuccessful in apprehending him.
Police said Seacat somehow made his way to Greenwood Village where he entered Lech’s home with a 9-year-old boy inside. The boy managed to call 911, safely leave the home and was reunited with his mother. That’s when the standoff began.
Cohrs said they are working to determine who will be responsible for the home’s repairs.
“These incidents don’t happen every single day. Every incident is different and that’s why there’s a process that you follow and referring it to our insurance carrier already and beginning the work through that process,” said Cohrs.
Police sources at other local agencies told CBS4 that they too, would have used similar tactics to remove an armed suspect and that they didn’t feel the approach was excessive.
Those sources also said homes can be rebuilt but human lives cannot, whether its a police officer or a citizen.
Lech wants his home fixed but said some things cannot be repaired.
“There are things in there that can’t be replaced. You’ve destroyed a family’s life for nothing, absolutely nothing, due to poor decision making on the part of government officials,” said Lech.
Lech said his homeowner’s insurance company has warned him there is a small chance his policy won’t cover the damage because of a clause for “incompetent goverment” action.