Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018
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Veteran receives $15,000 settlement after police damaged his home responding to false 911 call

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    Toledo resident Donald McGranahan II shows where the Toledo Police Department broke a window in his back porch during a search.

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  • CTY-mcgranahan04p

    Toledo resident Donald McGranahan II shows where the Toledo Police Department punched a hole in his wall with an arm during a search.

    THE BLADE
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A U.S. Army veteran who was arrested by police responding to a phony 911 call is finally getting compensated for the damage caused to his home and property.

City Council unanimously and without discussion on Tuesday approved a $15,000 settlement to Donald McGranahan II, who was the victim of a prank known as “swatting.” The money will come from the city’s risk management fund.

An unknown person purporting to be Mr. McGranahan called 911 on Sept. 7, 2015, saying he had shot his girlfriend and was holding two children hostage in his West Toledo home. Police surrounded his house, and, when he finally emerged, officers tore the house apart, causing about $4,200 in damage. They also seized three firearms he owned.

Toledo attorney Jerome Phillips, who represents Mr. McGranahan, said the city initially agreed to pay Mr. McGranahan for the damages but did not make good on that promise. Police also destroyed some of the property they had seized, prompting him to file suit against the city in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

“Ultimately the city agreed to pay him $15,000 to settle everything,” Mr. Phillips said, adding that Mr. McGranahan is satisfied with the settlement.

“It was an unfortunate situation,” Mr. Phillips said. “This was a swatting case where he did nothing wrong. We had no problem with what police did, but once they got in his house they roughed it up, and two and a half years later it still hasn't been repaired.”

Once police learned the 911 call was bogus and no crime had occurred, Mr. Phillips said officers “should have resolved the situation fairly quickly, returned his property, not charged him.”

The agreement absolves the city of any liability.

In other business Tuesday, council accepted more than $17 million in Ohio Department of Transportation grant funding for nine road resurfacing and reconstruction projects in the city.

Staff writer Sarah Elms contributed to this story.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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