By Tom Mustin
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – The man accused of barricading himself in a random Greenwood Village home for 19 hours, and firing at police, appeared in court in Arapahoe County.
Witnesses took the stand today. Jury selection began in his trial Tuesday.
Then-30-year-old Robert Seacat was arrested after officers from several jurisdictions destroyed the home owned by Leo Lech.
Seacat is facing several charges including attempted murder of a police officer.
Lech is suing for what he calls “just compensation” for his damaged home.
“People don’t believe me, people think I’m lying.”
More than two years after SWAT teams destroyed his home, Lech is still fuming.
“The City of Greenwood Village did hundreds of thousands of dollars to my home then offered me $5,000, ” Lech told reporter Tom Mustin.
In June of 2015, police say Seacat stole items from a WalMart, then randomly barricade himself inside of Lech’s home while running from police.
During the 19 hour standoff, Seacat allegedly fired at officers. Before his arrest, officers blew out doors and walls of the home.
“If you look at the photos of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, I would say his house looks better than mine does,” Lech said at the time.
After inspectors declared the home a total loss, the city offered Lech $5,000 in compensation.
Since then he’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars repairing the home.
He’s now filed a federal lawsuit, claiming civil rights violations, and unjust compensation from the government.
“If you take private property for the public good, you have to pay the owner just compensation. $5,000 is not just compensation, ” said Lech.
Lech says the more than 100 officers, a breaching ram, and explosives used to apprehend what he calls a “small time criminal,” were overkill. He says his home paid the price.
“I could care less about Mr. Seacat,” he said.
“You understand, this was dangerous criminal. He fired at the cops?,” asked Mustin.
“Apparently so,” answered Lech, “But these types of situations- worse situations- have been resolved in the past without the total destruction of a home.”
With Seacat in court facing attempted murder charges, Lech is preparing for his own legal battle.
He says the Constitution is on his side.
“It’s just unwarranted. People do not believe this happens in the United States… people do not believe it.”
Lech says he expects his case to be heard in Federal court in January.
Seacat’s trial will continue on Thursday.