Parents concerned about police raid near baseball field
Children and families got a big scare while watching a Little League baseball game on the east side of Indianapolis.
Police moved in on a house just feet away from Christian Park, near English Avenue and S. Sherman Drive. Parents didn't know what to think as they saw dozens of police with their guns out and their kids right across the street.
"We look over and there's a SWAT team," said Kelly Cope, the mother of one of the children. "They've come down the street, they've blocked the street off, they're jumping out with guns and shotguns and they're yelling and breaking through the window."
Cope says no one knew what was going on.
"It just all happened so fast, just very suddenly," she said.
Coaches stopped the game and got everyone off the field, as far away from the action as they could.
"The kids were scared. They didn't understand what was happening," Cope said.
State police say parents should have been scared. Not by what they saw going on, but by what they didn't see inside the South Denny Street house.
"I think if I was a parent, I would be concerned, especially knowing after the fact, that meth was being produced there, that my children were playing so close to a methamphetamine lab. Absolutely they should be concerned," said ISP Capt. Dave Bursten.
"I think common sense should have kicked in to the officers to send somebody over to make sure the children were safe. That should have been their number one priority was protecting those families," Cope said.
"If we come in, not knowing what's happening and then we're trying to tell everyone to leave an area, many times we're going to be perceived as the boy who cried wolf. When we're doing these things, we'll lose an element of surprise," Bursten said.
But Cope says the surprise could have been worse for everyone had there been someone inside the house who wasn't ready to surrender.
"It could have been the unthinkable," she said.
State police say they do not have a policy in place for situations like this one, where the public is nearby. They are still investigating the house, looking for the people they say are responsible for the meth lab inside.