An Edmonton family experienced a traumatic police raid at their home following a false kidnapping tip involving their adult son. The incident, which unfolded on Thursday, was triggered by a series of text messages from the son claiming he had been kidnapped and was being held at knifepoint and gunpoint.
The situation was later revealed to be a hoax, with the son now under investigation. However, this realization came after Edward Potts, his children, and their grandmother had already been subjected to a distressing encounter with a police tactical team at their home. Home security footage captured the ordeal, showing the family being forced to the ground by officers.
James Potts, recounting the event, described it as resembling a movie scene, with an “army tank smashing down the front door” and officers entering from the backyard. The family, including five children aged six to 17 and elderly parents, were ordered onto the ground at gunpoint. Vicki Cooke, the grandmother, recalled the fear and disbelief, noting that the children were cold, scared, and one without a shirt.
The raid was a response to a call received by the Fort Saskatchewan RCMP about a possible kidnapping. The family had reportedly received text messages from the son requesting $1,500 and claiming threats of violence. Police responded to two homes but found no evidence of kidnapping, later locating the alleged victim unharmed at a third location.
The Edmonton Police Service stated that officers believed the victim was in imminent danger, prompting the immediate action. James Potts expressed his family’s shock and confusion during the raid, as the reasons for the police presence were initially unclear.
The family is now considering moving out of Edmonton due to the trauma inflicted, particularly on the children. Potts mentioned that the physical damages to the house are repairable, but the emotional impact on the children is a lasting concern. His granddaughter, deeply affected, is now hesitant to even step outside.
While officers apologized as they left, Potts has not heard from them since. The RCMP, leading the ongoing investigation, is considering mischief charges related to the false kidnapping report.