Monterey County

Salinas family files federal suit over wrongful raid

Family sues law enforcement after raid on wrong home

SALINAS, Calif. - A Salinas family has filed a federal lawsuit after police raided the wrong home in 2013.

Martha and Alberto Alvarado filed the suit this week on behalf of themselves and their teenage granddaughter.

The couple alleges that officers from the Salinas, Gilroy and Morgan Hill police departments used unnecessary and excessive force when they raided their Park Street home in May 2013 looking for a suspect. The search was conducted in connection with Operation Snake Eyes, a multi-jurisdictional crackdown targeting gang members throughout the central coast.

Police were looking for Omar Ramirez, who they were informed lived at or visited the residence of 232 Park Street. That residence is located next door to the Alvarado residence, according to the court filings. The Alvarados claim police searched their home unlawfully, barging in with assault rifles and ordering the couple and their then-14-year-old grandaughter down to ground.

Alberto Alvarado was undergoing kidney dialysis at the time and was at high risk for  possible infection. According to the complaint, the Alvarados asked that he not be made to lie on the outside ground for this reason but their request was denied. They say the officers remained on site for about two hours, ransacking the house, keeping them handcuffed and damaging their property.

The suit names the cities of Salinas, Gilroy and Morgan Hill and their respective police departments, along with a number of individual officers, as defendants.

The Alvarados seek compensation for the physical and emotional distress they say they experienced as well as for the monetary damages that resulted from the raid.

City of Salinas attorney Chris Callihan said he had not been served with the suit yet and could not comment. Attorneys for the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy did not immediately return calls from News Channel 5 reporter Jake Reiner.

Read the entire suit here.

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