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SWAT raid in Kalamazoo turns up empty-handed, frightens family

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A SWAT team raids a Kalamazoo family home looking for drugs, but turns up empty handed.

It happened last Thursday at a house on Southworth Terrace.

Two young children were home at the time.

Their parents tell us, police made a mistake, and now they're left to cope with the trauma.

The family tells Newschannel 3 the man police were looking for, was renting the home nearly a year before they moved in, and they're upset police didn't do their homework before busting through their door.

"I thought it was somebody either trying to rob us, or hurt us," said Jeremy Handley.

Handley tells us after the KDPS SWAT team busted through his back door, he and his wife Becky were handcuffed and searched.

"He had me sprawl out right here on the floor, and then he had me put my hands behind my back," said Handley.

And Handley's two children, ran and hid in a bedroom closet.

"We were staying quiet, because we thought they were bad guys coming in," said 7-year-old Brenden Handley.

And your kids could see you the whole time? "My kids were sitting on that bed after they got them out of the closet," said Becky Handley.

Jeremy tells us police then ransacked his home. "Every drawer, every cabinet, every piece of paper."

According to the search warrant, police were looking for cocaine, drug money and guns.

Who did they say they were looking for? "A man named Chum is all I remember," said Handley.

"Do you know this Chum guy?" we asked.

"No, I would never recognize him if I were to see him in the street," said Handley.

After nearly three hours, Becky says police turned up empty handed, and showed us the document they left to prove it.

"They apologized at the end of interviewing me," said Becky Handley.

Police gave Handley's children some stuffed animals, but he says they haven't stopped the nightmares.

"One dream was about Chum coming in our house with a gun, saying get on the ground," said 8-year-old Aurora Handley.

Jeremy tells us he doesn't want his kids to be afraid of police, and is hoping they'll provide a new door and counseling for his traumatized family.

"It made me sad and scared," said Aurora.

Police tell us they can't comment about the details of the raid because it's an ongoing investigation.

We're told the Chief of Police will be reaching out to the family.