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Police Raid Berwyn Heights Mayor's Home, Kill His 2 Dogs

Mayor Cheye Calvo, right, and his wife Trinity Tomsic in Berwyn Heights in 2006.
Mayor Cheye Calvo, right, and his wife Trinity Tomsic in Berwyn Heights in 2006. (Lois Raimondo - Post)
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Calvo said he came home early from work Tuesday. While walking the dogs, Calvo said, he noticed several black sport-utility vehicles and a woman parked in a car down the street.

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"I figured someone was having a party," he recalled.

It was the police. They were watching, waiting for someone to bring the package into the house.

As Calvo returned to the house, he said, he spotted the large package that his mother-in-law had told a deliveryman to leave on the porch. He placed it on a buffet table near the front door and went upstairs to change.

"I brought it inside because I figured it was something we'd gotten for the garden," he said.

Moments later, just after he had undressed, Calvo said, he heard his mother-in-law scream that someone was coming toward the house. He looked out his bedroom window and saw officers in SWAT gear running across the lawn.

"I heard a loud crash and then 'bang, bang, bang,' " he said, recalling the sounds of the police shooting the dogs. "I hit the floor."

As the police came in, Calvo said, they shot his 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, Payton, near the front door and then his 4-year-old dog, Chase, also a black Lab, as the dog ran into a back room. Walking through his house yesterday, Calvo pointed out a bullet hole in the drywall where the younger dog had been shot.

"I understand they have a job to do, but it didn't have to go like that," Calvo said. He said the police could have knocked on his door and asked him about the package. "I've never done drugs in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that I am so adamantly opposed to them."

Police said yesterday that, when they seized the package during the raid, it was unopened.

Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy said county police and the Sheriff's Office had not notified his department of the raid. He said town police could have conducted the search without a SWAT team.

"You can't tell me the chief of police of a municipality wouldn't have been able to knock on the door of the mayor of that municipality, gain his confidence and enter the residence," Murphy said. "It would not have been a necessity to shoot and kill this man's dogs."


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