GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A federal court ruled this week that the City of Greenwood Village owes nothing to a man whose house was destroyed in 2015 during an extensive police operation in Greenwood Village. Leo Lech spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on repairs and sued the city for what he said were civil rights violations and unjust compensation from the government.
In June of 2015, police say 30-year-old Robert Seacat stole items from a Walmart, then randomly barricaded himself inside of Lech’s home while running from the law. During the 19 hour standoff that followed, 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 in 2015.
After inspectors declared the home a total loss, the city offered Lech $5,000 in compensation.
“If you take private property for the public good, you have to pay the owner just compensation. $5,000 is not just compensation,” Lech told CBS4 two years later.
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.
The Washington Post reported a U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled on Tuesday that Greenwood Village doesn’t have to pay for the damage police caused because it was done while officers were trying to enforce the law in an emergency situation. Lech told the newspaper he is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.