Ogden mayor says warrant service at wrong house to be investigated

Posted at 9:56 PM, Jan 07, 2013

OGDEN, Utah -- The mayor said Monday he has requested the police department give him the results of its internal investigation into a case of mistaken identity when a warrant was served.

If he does not feel enough has been done, Mike Caldwell told FOX 13, he will request another investigation.

"We want to make sure that we review what happened so we can make sure we avoid this at all costs in the future," Caldwell said.

The Ogden Police Department is reviewing its actions in the Dec. 20 warrant service at Eric Hill's home. Hill told FOX 13 at the time that his family was awakened about 2:30 a.m. by a banging at the door. Fearing for his family's safety, he said he grabbed a baseball bat as he went to the door.

"I'm asking who it is and I'm not getting any response and I'm asking louder and I finally hear 'Ogden police,' and I didn't believe it with the long response," Hill said at the time. "So I open the door and I have six men there with assault rifles pointed at my face, yelling at me to drop the bat."

Police were looking for another man, 23-year-old Derick Billmire, whom they said had once provided the home's address in some paperwork. Hill contends the police should have done more to verify whose home it was -- noting that his family parks their cars in the front and police could have easily looked up the vehicle registrations.

Ogden's police chief apologized to the family. Caldwell said city officials have reached out to the Hills to see if they wished to file a formal complaint, but they have not responded.

Caldwell said he expects to have the results of the police department's internal review on his desk by the end of the week. He will then decide if another investigation is warranted.

"We're keeping our options open," he said. "It depends on what that is. If it's a big irregularity, we'll certainly have some other people look at it and examine that. If there are just some internal things we can clean up and maybe streamline, we'll look at that as well."