Dad's trauma after armed police raid his home by mistake

Armed police point their guns at the door of Eddie Croasdell's flat.

Armed police point their guns at the door of Eddie Croasdell's flat. - Credit: Eddie Croasdell

A single dad is still reeling from the shock of armed police bursting into his home and holding him at gunpoint - in what proved to be a case of mistaken identity.

The last thing Eddie Croasdell, 55, expected to see when answering a knock at the door of his Riverside Road flat on Sunday morning was a squad of police pointing guns at him.

He was ordered to stay still and hold his hands over his head: "All this time I was covered by rifles pointed at me and very aware of the laser targeters bouncing around my chest and abdomen."

A squad of armed police officers outside Eddie Croasdell's flat in Riverside Road, St Albans.

A squad of armed police officers outside Eddie Croasdell's flat in Riverside Road, St Albans. - Credit: Eddie Croasdell

Meanwhile, Eddie's 15-year-old son Jack, who lives with him full-time, was still in his room and he was given no opportunity to see him or talk to him.

"One officer took my hands, put them behind my back, and cuffed me."

Eddie Croasdell is ordered to put up his hands at gunpoint after answering the door to his Riverside Road flat.

Eddie Croasdell is ordered to put up his hands at gunpoint after answering the door to his Riverside Road flat. - Credit: Eddie Croasdell

He was interrogated about the whereabouts of someone called Jordan, who he had never heard of, before being escorted out into the street in just his t-shirt and underpants and left to wait for 20 minutes with a uniformed officer, being told to shut up when he tried to find out what was happening.

"After about 15 minutes the officer spoke on his radio and then started to ask me about who I was. He then told me that clearly they had the wrong address and seemed a little embarrassed.

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"Eventually I was taken upstairs, uncuffed, deposited in my flat, and left alone. I told one armed officer that they'd made a mistake and he angrily shouted at me that he was just doing his job and implied that in some way it was all my fault they'd made a mistake."

He soon learned that his son had been woken up by officers pointing rifles at him while he was still in bed, demanding to know if he was Jordan.

Eddie was subsequently visited by a sergeant who came to apologise, but he wasn't satisfied: "His main interest was trying to convince me that mistakes happen, I shouldn't worry about it, and that I should just see this as pretty normal and move on."

An armed police officer in Riverside Road, St Albans.

An armed police officer in Riverside Road, St Albans. - Credit: Eddie Croasdell

He said basic research should have alerted police to the fact that nobody called Jordan resided at his address and he was a single dad living with his son.

"As you can imagine this was a pretty traumatic experience, not helped by the aggressive armed officer who refused to accept they were in any way to blame or by the offhand attitude of the officer who spoke to me afterwards.

"While the incident was going on I didn't have time to be frightened, I knew I had done nothing and was more worried about my child than anything else. Afterwards though, I keep replaying the incident in my head, got very little sleep that night and had nightmares when I did sleep.

"I keep seeing those targeting lasers on my chest and imagining Jack being woken up in his own room by shouting men with rifles.

"Not only was the incident itself terrifying, and will be for a long time after, but the fact that a large group of armed men can be sent out to terrify innocent people because they couldn't be bothered to do the most basic research and then refuse to listen to the people they've taken, even when it is blindingly obvious they have made a mistake, is absolutely terrifying."

A spokesperson for Herts police said: "Officers attended Riverside Road just after 8am [Sunday] morning following reports that a person in one of the flats was being held at knifepoint.

“Due to the nature of the report, armed officers were sent to the scene as a matter of protocol, in order to ensure the safety of members of the public and police officers on scene.

"As a specific location was not given by the caller, it was necessary to search a small number of addresses to try and quickly locate anyone who may have been in danger and to detain any potential suspects.

"Public safety is our number one priority in these circumstances and time was of the essence.

"Once the incident had been safely concluded, local officers attended to explain the response and provide some reassurance to those living in the area. We remain in contact with one of the occupants to discuss their concerns.

"We would like to thank residents for their cooperation throughout.”