I-TEAM: Woman says police searched her house while she was sleeping, unaware

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-TEAM is investigating after a local woman said she woke up in the middle of the night to find police searching her house for someone she didn’t know even though she never called the cops or let them inside.

It happened in the wee hours of Tuesday morning in North Ridgeville. So we heard her story, and we went to North Ridgeville City Hall for an explanation.

The woman told the I-TEAM, "I was sound asleep. I heard, ‘Hello, hello.’ I started coming down the steps. There were 3 officers. One of the officers at the bottom of the steps said, ‘We're looking for a particular person.’ I said, ‘I don't know who this individual is.’"

Turns out, police had been looking for a victim in a domestic violence case. But that resident wondered, how did her home end up in the middle of it, and how did police get inside?

She added, "They said they knocked, but I didn't hear any knocking. They saw that my door was unlocked and came in. Why my house? Why did the officers come in?"

That homeowner said she never got a full explanation from police about what happened, or how, or why. So the I-TEAM went to police headquarters. The North Ridgeville Police Chief came out to meet us, but he wouldn't tell us anything on camera.

So we went to the Safety Director, Jeff Armbruster, who said, "They didn't just enter the house without knocking."

The Safety Director told us, police had taken multiple calls about domestic violence trouble at multiple locations. Someone gave the address of the woman who’d been sleeping. And, the Safety Director argues, police did the right thing by going in to investigate.

Armbruster said, "What happens if someone really was violently hurt, or was killed in that house, and the police walked away? It’s a very difficult situation."

Police never did find a victim and they’re still investigating the entire chain of events.

Meantime, the woman who was awakened to find police downstairs still has a lot of questions. She said, "If this individual used my address, who is this person? I was concerned, and I was scared.”

The I-TEAM has also requested the 911 calls and police reports regarding this incident. As of Wednesday evening, they had not yet been released by North Ridgeville.