No wrongdoing found in botched raid at Galveston home, report finds

Tuesday, May 16, 2023
GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- No wrongdoing was found in the botched raid of a Galveston home in January, according to a report from ABC13's partners at the Houston Chronicle.

A homeowner says officers tore apart her home while searching for a murder suspect who had visited but did not live there.

The homeowner said the raid caused thousands of dollars in damages, and the suspect was also later cleared of any involvement.

The raid happened on the morning of Jan. 22. Erika Rios said she and her kids were awakened by wooden pellets in their doors and police saying, "Come out with your hands up!"

The ordeal was captured on the family's security camera. It shows Rios, her teenage son, her daughter, and a friend being forced out of their house with their hands up.

Hours later, the family would learn that police were looking for Cameron Vargas, a family friend who was identified as a possible murder suspect. Vargas, a teenager living around the corner from Rios, would later turn himself in.

However, there are multiple major issues with the entire situation. Vargas did not live in the Rios house, nor was he there at the time of the raid.

According to the Galveston Daily News, charges were later dropped against Vargas because a witness falsely identified him.

In addition, even though the raid happened on Jan. 22, Galveston city leaders did not learn about it until five days later, when the Galveston Daily News first reported the story.

The Houston Chronicle reported on an independent investigation that found the officers followed best practices and did not break any laws.

The Galveston police chief was put on leave after the raid but has since returned to work.
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