Manatee neighbors applaud raid on suspected drug den

rdymond@bradenton.comSeptember 19, 2013 

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office SWAT team arrested at least four people Thursday in a raid on a suspected drug house as neighbors applauded.

MANATEE — Several neighbors applauded and gave the thumbs-up sign Thursday night as a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team served a warrant on a house in their neighborhood suspected of drug activity.

Although the sheriff’s office SWAT members would not say what they were looking for, neighbors say they believe the home in the 200 block of 47th Street West, just a block north of Manatee Avenue West on 47th Street West, has been a hotbed of illegal narcotics activity.

At least four people were handcuffed during the operation and put in unmarked law-enforcement cars.

“Drugs nonstop, all the time,” said resident Tiffany Skimerhorn who has two children, ages 3 and 6.

She yelled to SWAT members: “We love you.”

It was not immediately known if any of those handcuffed were arrested and charged and what, if anything, was discovered in the home.

Visitors to the house often congregate at the south end of the street or at a nearby convenience store, Skimerhorn said.

“I’ve lived here two years and I know that every neighbor on this street has been broken into,” Skimerhorn added, referring to burglaries. “There is constant traffic, including cars and kids on bikes.”

Neighbor Jonathon Herrygers, who lives a few houses away and watches his young nephews there, says authorities came six months ago but all-hours activity is back.

“I think everyone on the street needs to sign a petition and get them out,” Herrygers said of the occupants of the house. “We have young children on the street and they don’t need to be around this.”

Herrygers said the SWAT team raced up to the house at about 5:30 p.m. and threw three “flash bangs” into it before storming in.

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