Couple Argues Eminent Domain for Home Destroyed in Police Standoff

“A Colorado family whose home was destroyed during a police standoff with a shoplifting suspect asked a 10th Circuit panel to revive their claims for compensation under the Fifth Amendment’s clause on eminent domain.

In 2015, the Greenwood Village, Colorado, Police Department responded to a call of a man shoplifting two belts and a shirt from an area Walmart. The suspect, Jonathan Seacat, shot at police as he fled and then randomly picked the home of Leo and Alfonsia Lech to hide.

Only the Lechs’ 9-year-old grandson was home at the time and he quickly fled the house.

Over the next 19 hours, police attempted to flush Seacat out, eventually using a boom ram on an armored vehicle to tear open holes in the Lechs’ home to expose Seacat and make it easier for a sniper to find him.

Rendered uninhabitable by the standoff, the Lechs had to be rebuild from the ground up. Greenwood Village offered $5,000 to help with the expense of being rendered homeless, but refused to be held accountable for the home’s destruction.”
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Pampuro, Amanda. Courthouse News Service 13 November 2018.