Some police in Polk County, Florida, are taking some heat for an unusual breach of protocol. During a raid in March on a suspect's home, some of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force decided to kill time by playing Wii Sports.
Seems the suspect, Michael Difalco, owned a Wii console, which police powered up while other investigators searched the home for illegal paraphernalia. Wii sport of choice? Bowling.
Little did they know, Difalco had a wireless security camera connected to his computer, and it caught all the action on video. While detectives comb the house for evidence, carrying out items like televisions and firearms, their colleagues are waving Wii Remotes toward virtual pins.
Now people are asking whether the Wii bowling match might affect the case. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd watched the video and expressed embarrassment, but he insists this should not "invalidate the search at all."
"Obviously, this is not the kind of behavior we condone," Lakeland Police Chief Roger Boatner said. "There was a lot of down time, but that does not excuse the fact that we should act as the consummate professionals."
The raid cost taxpayers over $4,000, so there is some worry over the public's reaction. But the police insist Difalco is "a bad guy," and the police still recovered enough evidence to put him away.
"The real question here is have they seized property that wasn't described in the search warrant?" asked defense attorney Rick Escobar, who is not involved in this case. "Clearly if they're using it, they've seized it and for totally improper purposes, because it's for entertainment. Investigations are not for entertainment."
Check out the surveillance footage here -- faces have been blurred out. Realistically, this is unprofessional behavior, and the detectives involved should be reprimanded; but it's still damn funny.
Special thanks go to Victor for the tip.