Aug 6, 2013

Man ordered out of bed for having remote

Man ordered out of bed for having remote
Man ordered out of bed for having remote, A couple were arrested at gunpoint by 18 police officers and held for four hours after a paramedic mistook their TV remote control for a gun.

Michelle Malone, 46, and Keith Abrahams, 44, were in bed when 18 officers stormed their flat and bundled them out into a police van.

The couple’s nightmare began when a paramedic was sent to their home  after Miss Malone suffered a panic attack. As he entered the bedroom to treat  Miss Malone, he spotted the remote control in Mr Abrahams’ hand. Apparently mistaking it for a gun, he immediately called police.

Eighteen officers – ten of whom were armed and wearing body armour – then burst into the flat at 1am and the couple were arrested at gunpoint.

Mr Abrahams, a forklift truck driver, said: ‘I was shocked. Having guns pointed within an inch of my eyes is not the most fun.

‘I had been sitting in bed and I’d dozed off watching something on telly. The next thing I know I’m being ordered out of bed at gunpoint. It was absolutely terrifying.

With Miss Malone’s condition worsening the pair were taken to a nearby police station while officers conducted a forensic fingertip search of their flat.

Detectives confirmed during the pair’s interview that the paramedic believed he had spotted Mr Abrahams holding a firearm. Miss Malone said: ‘The police told us the medic had seen a 10in long black firearm being held by Keith as he lay in bed.

‘I suffered the indignity of being treated like this all for the sake of a television remote control.
‘I can only imagine what my neighbours thought. It was like something out of a film.’

The couple said they were surrounded by ten armed officers wearing body armour, eight uniformed police as well as a dog handler during the raid at 1am on June 24 in Hereford.

Miss Malone added: ‘I just remember running out of bed after hearing a bang like an earthquake and seeing police pointing guns at Keith, who was up against the wall. We were held at the station for four hours but released without charge.

‘I couldn’t believe it when I heard they were searching for a gun. I’ve never had a gun in my life – I’ve never even seen one before. It was just horrendous.’

Miss Malone, a former prison custody officer, is now taking legal action against West Mercia Police after suffering concussion during the incident.

She said: ‘We received no apology and I just feel violated by their intrusive actions. The way I was treated in my own home was very traumatic. I already suffer from anxiety and then to suffer the indignity of being arrested for absolutely nothing has just alleviated this.

‘I suffered bruising and concussion because of how forceful they were, and to treat a woman in her bedclothes with such a degrading manner was embarrassing and upsetting.’

She added: ‘They also left my house looking like a bomb-site – it was like I had been burgled.’

When the pair were eventually released from Hereford Police Station, Mr Abrahams suffered a further indignity when he was left to walk home in just his vest and boxer shorts. He said: ‘It was pretty humiliating. They took Michelle home but I had to walk back wearing a vest and boxer shorts.’

The couple are also demanding an apology from West Midlands Ambulance Service which has since launched an internal investigation into the paramedic who called police.

Yesterday a police spokeswoman confirmed that no firearms were found in the property and they were investigating the complaints raised by the couple.