Sheriff Regrets BSO Face-Off with Armed Judge

Sheriff says confrontation resulted from a series of unfortunate events

Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti says he deeply regrets an Easter Sunday face off between his deputies and an armed judge and her family.

A woman, who made a 911 call about a house being burglarized, gave authorities the wrong home address, Lamberti said in a statement Friday. The woman pointed out the Deerfield Beach home of Judge Ilona Holmes’ sister Carmita Scarlett, where the entire family was having Easter dinner, and the woman never told them they were at the wrong house.

“We deeply regret that Judge Holmes and her family went through this experience and understand that this incident, resulting from a series of unfortunate events, may have been traumatic for them," Lamberti’s statement said.

Scarlett said at a press conference in front of her home, that Lamberti’s words are too little, too late for them. But the judge's attorney says she won't sue.

During the incident, deputies surrounded the house with their guns drawn, thinking that the people inside were really robbers. After Holmes and her family were ordered outside and told to get on the ground, but she refused because of a bad back, the report stated.

Holmes, who was armed, told deputies they would have to shoot her to get her to obey, the report said. And it wasn't until a high-ranking sheriff’s office official arrived and recognized Holmes from her years on the bench that deputies realized they had the wrong address.

After things died down, Holmes and her family "appeared very upset that police had pointed weapons at them," the deputy wrote.

No burglars were found at the correct house and nothing appeared to be taken from the residence.
When investigators went to question Holmes further about what happened, she was in no mood to talk, authorities said.

But a sheriff’s office report blames the neighbor and appears to paint Holmes and her family as uncooperative.

Lamberti also said the incident is being reviewed to see if proper procedures were followed.

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