RALEIGH, N.C. -- Police mistook a black teenager for a burglar and pepper-sprayed him inside the home of his white foster parents, authorities said Wednesday.
Responding to a neighbor's report of a break-in, police in the suburban Raleigh town of Fuquay-Varina said they used pepper spray Monday when 18-year-old DeShawn Currie "became profane, threatening and belligerent" and "refused to follow instructions" from officers.
Currie told ABC affiliate WTVD in Raleigh he became angry when three officers showed up inside the home and noted that he was not included in family photos on a mantle.
"They was like, 'Put your hands on the door,'" DeShawn told the television station. "I was like, 'For what? This is my house.' I was like, 'Why are y'all in here?'"
Currie's foster parents, Ricky and Stacy Tyler, said he has been with them for about a year. The Tylers, their three young children and Currie moved into their new home in July and don't know all their neighbors.
Police said there had spate of crimes in the area recently, but did not specifically say how many or what kind. Authorities said when they entered the house, Currie produced identification showing another address.
A police spokeswoman did not respond when asked specifically about what instructions Currie did not follow. Police also have not said how many officers entered the home, their length of service with the department or their race.
Currie said while he's felt supported by the family, he's not sure he can get over this.
"I'm feeling comfortable," explained DeShawn. "I had moved into my room, and I'm feeling like I'm loved. And then when they come in and they just profile me and say that I'm not who I am. And that I do not stay here because there was white kids on the wall, that really made me mad."
"Everything that we've worked so hard for in the past years was stripped away yesterday in just a matter of moments," said Ricky Tyler.
Currie was treated by medical personnel at the scene, police said. No charges were filed.