Brooklyn Police Draw Guns on Wrong Vehicle, Handcuff Innocent County Worker

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Tuesday night, officers with the Brooklyn Police Department approached a white Ford Fusion with guns drawn. They believed that the vehicle had been stolen. 

It had not been.

Brooklyn police chief Scott Mielke said it appeared Cleveland PD entered the wrong vehicle as stolen. In truth, the plates belonged to a Ford Econoline van. 

Nonetheless, the lone occupant of the Ford Fusion — Michael Houser, who works as a special assistant to Sharon Sobol, County Executive Armond Budish's Chief of Staff — was handcuffed and kept inside his vehicle for ten minutes.

In a Facebook status posted later Tuesday night, Houser wondered what exactly had gone wrong:

"My question is how do you make a mistake that big? Even if the car was stolen why come to the car with guns drawn? God is good but this situation could have easily been bad. We need to improve the system."

Chief Mielke told Scene that the alleged stolen vehicle was entered as being used in an aggravated robbery with a gun, "so approaching the vehicle with our weapons drawn [was] appropriate." 

Mielke also said that there were five officers at the scene, not nine, as Houser indicated in his post. 

Houser, upon release, was advised to contact CPD about his vehicle.

In a follow-up post this morning, Houser said that he'd spoken with CPD and they confirmed that his car "was not and had never been" stolen. 

"I'm not even going to lie, I was hoping it was just to justify the actions of Brooklyn Police Department," he wrote.

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