Greenwood Village SWAT team damages home, says it was necessary to ensure safety

Problem Solvers
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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. -- A standoff between SWAT team members and an armed shoplifting suspect who barricaded himself in a Greenwood Village home ended, but now the home owner thinks police destroyed his house.

Greenwood Village Police said the 19-hour standoff ended with no injured officers or citizens, but the home looks like a bomb went off.

There is a large hole in the front of the house, broken windows and glass are littered everywhere and shrapnel is stuck in the walls.

Leo Lech said, “It looks like Osama Bin Laden’s compound.”

Lech is no terrorist but an unlucky homeowner whose property was caught in the cross fire when the suspect broke into the home.

A 9-year-old child who was in the home at the time was able to escape.

Greenwood Village Police say that the suspect had four active warrants out for narcotics and had a large amount of narcotics with him. The suspect tried to steal a car at the home and fired at police from the garage, Greenwood Village Police say.

Negotiations with the suspect failed after police met two of the suspect's three demands, but the suspect severed communications with police.

Police used explosives and a ramming device to gain entry into the home after negotiations failed.

“This is a complete atrocity," said Lech. "This is a paramilitary force used in a civilian environment … for one gunman? To use this kind of power?”

Lech said the Greenwood Village Police Department claimed it was not responsible and the city would not return his calls.

So the FOX31 Problem Solvers went to work making phone calls and asking a lot of questions. The city manager’s assistant, Matt Corhs, said they have tried to contact Lech.

“I know there have been attempts to contact him," said Corhs. "We have contacted our insurance company to see if they will positively resolve this matter.”

Greenwood Village Police say they tried their best to avoid damaging the home, but they had to use tear gas and robots to get the suspect out. The suspect "fought them all the way out the door," they say and property was damaged in the process.

The priority was keeping the community safe, police say. Greenwood Police paid for hotels for several neighbors that had to evacuate the area.

Lech’s son was renting the home with his wife and their son who are now staying elsewhere.

"They are completely distraught," Lech said. "They lost everything too…things in there that can never be replaced."

Lech said he hopes the city does the right thing. “Somebody ethically should ma’am. Somebody ethically, if we are just talking ethics, should pay for their belongings.”

Lech’s homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage done to the home, but everything inside is a complete loss.

Police said the 33-year-old suspect, Robert Seacat was wanted in a shoplifting incident at a Wal-Mart store on East Hampden Avenue in Aurora. The incident began about 2 p.m. Wednesday and ended Thursday about 9 a.m.

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