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Fort Lauderdale police, SWAT assist in FBI raid of home in health care fraud investigation

Man in custody after raid on Fort Lauderdale home
Man in custody after raid on Fort Lauderdale home 02:50
Man arrested after SWAT standoff 02:08

MIAMI - A large police presence, including a SWAT team, descended on a Fort Lauderdale home early Friday as part of an investigation involving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Fort Lauderdale police said their officers and SWAT team assisted in an FBI operation at SW 21st Street and SW 12th Avenue.

Roommates inside the home said they woke around 6 a.m. to the sounds of officers pounding on the windows and yelling at them to get down before smoke devices were thrown inside.

"Ryan, walk to the sound of my voice," the FBI said on a bullhorn.  

Cellphone video from a neighbor caught the action.

In it, an FBI agent can be heard telling a guy named Ryan to come outside. The sound of the smoke devices going off can be heard as smoke billows out. Then a person can be seen coming outside, walking backward, and shouting "excessive force."

As the FBI agents moved closer, they ran over a lamppost in the driveway.

"They all got woken up with a cop saying like put your hands up, yada, yada, but I was in a different room, and by the way they were threatening everyone, I thought it was thugs like breaking in, so I just locked the door and I broke the window, and climbed out of the back. Yeah, cause I kept hearing them like, like, blah, blah, blah, guns, like get your roommate," said Angela Hutchinson who lives in the home.

"We had assault rifles in our faces," said Hutchinson's roommate Kashi. 

They said they were terrified and are now upset that their property was destroyed.

"They destroyed everything in our home and they assaulted me, threw me on the ground, disrespected me, destroyed my car, and told me that 'oh yeah, we can't do anything about your car, probably won't drive, but you know, just call the number for the FBI online," said Kashi.

The car had been parked in the driveway. The FBI pulled it onto the street in order to get the armored vehicle closer to the house.

"They said that he did medical fraud, but I don't know what that would mean. From my understanding, he's a good guy with a good heart who's just like struggling a little bit with some addiction issues. I don't think he did whatever it was. He's a meditating hippie, for the most part," said Kashi.

Hutchinson and her roommate said they were worried about him because he was high on drugs at the time.

"They blow up smoke bombs on him, probably still nodding off on fentanyl, and dragged him out of the house," Kashi.

"We were telling them if he's not answering anymore, he's in a tough spot, he could very well be in danger," said Hutchinson. 

According to the FBI, they provided assistance after the subject of the investigation barricaded himself inside the residence.  

HHS confirmed they served an arrest warrant at the house, but would not release any additional information. 

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