SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A surveillance camera captured a deputy detaining two Sacramento County neighbors Sunday morning after an alarm was tripped in one of their homes.
Ed Dowdy had asked if he could borrow his neighbor’s phone to call a locksmith after locking his keys and cell phone in his car.
“We were just having a conversation right here,” said Dowdy’s neighbor, Omar.
It just so happened Omar’s daughter had tripped his home burglar alarm the same morning.
As they stood outside waiting for the locksmith to arrive, a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy showed up in their gated community to investigate the alarm. His first question caught both men by surprise.
“‘Any of you guys on probation or parole?’” Dowdy recalled.
“That kind of surprised me. It kind of shocked us like, why would he even ask that?” Omar said. “Like do we look like criminals or something? And to me, I feel like he made up in his mind who we were at that moment.”
Dowdy is an Army veteran and Omar is the owner of a cleaning business.
Omar said the deputy would not let him go inside his home to get his driver’s license.
“I told him, ‘I’ve got my ID in the house. My wife and kids are inside. Do you want me to go get it? I can go get it,’” he told FOX40.
“He said, ‘No, I’ll write it down.’ And I even spelled out my name, my last name, gave him my date of birth. He went to go check.”
The two neighbors said the deputy came back and said he couldn’t find Omar in the system. Shortly after that, they were put in handcuffs and told they were being detained.
Omar’s Ring camera was recording the whole time.
“You’re out here, outside of a home where an alarm went off, right? You guys are just standing out here and your name isn’t very good,” the deputy can be heard saying in the footage. “Well, I have reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime is being committed, right? So, I can detain people.”
“We asked for the supervisor,” Omar recalled. “He’s like, ‘I don’t got to call him. I’m not going to waste his time.'”
“And he said, ‘No, you don’t go nowhere either because I got to detain you.’ I said, ‘For what? For having a conversation out here?’” Dowdy said.
Dowdy said the deputy was “belligerent” and searched him “without my consent.”
Eventually, Omar’s wife came out of the house and provided his ID. A sergeant showed up to check on the alarm call and the two men were released.
They both told FOX40 they respect law enforcement and they cooperated with the deputy. But they say, in this case, they were mistreated.
“I don’t feel like we should be yelled at or put in handcuffs or frisked or searched,” Dowdy said.
“There are so many different ways it could’ve been handled,” Omar said.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Tess Deterding reviewed the surveillance video and released a statement:
From a general review of the video it does not appear there is any violation of policy or law. However, the video is insufficient in terms of drawing a conclusion. If these individuals feel the situation was not handled appropriately by Sheriffs Office personnel, we encourage them to contact us so we may gather more information.