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Sheriff defends Ripon home raid searching for illegal fireworks
SJ sheriff

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office is taking issue with the way that their raid of a Ripon home on Wednesday as part of a search warrant into illegal fireworks is being framed. 

On Friday evening, the agency released a social media message claiming that media reports – at least two Sacramento-area news channels picked up the story based on the account of the family whose home was raided – are leaving out key information about what happened and why the response was conducted the way that it was. 

According to the agency, officers had a search warrant for the home that was connected to an ongoing investigation into illegal fireworks. The family – the husband and wife were identified in media reports as Nicole McCurdy and Michael Schirmer – was known for having a large fireworks show at their home for the Fourth of July holiday after the City of Ripon cancelled their annual aerial show. 

Officers arrived at the home on Wednesday with guns drawn and behind tactical shields – a precaution, they said, that was “due to knowledge of criminal history and firearms in the home” – and deployed less-than-lethal rounds to subdue the family’s dog that officers claim tried to attack them. 

“Further, to clarify, the deputies were forced to deploy less lethal after their dog tried to attack them; deputies offered to get the dog veterinarian care which the family declined,” the agency said in its release. “The video and images being circulated also don’t depict the professional interactions deputies had with both the adults and children once they rendered the home safe.

“The Sheriff’s Office takes complaints of this nature seriously and conducts thorough reviews to ensure that policies, laws, and procedures were followed. This includes reviewing body worn camera footage, which clearly depicts the series of events outlined above.”

With the window for sale of safe-and-sane fireworks fast approaching, authorities throughout San Joaquin County are gearing up for another wild year with illegal fireworks filling the skies. 

Last week the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office took a fireworks-centered approach to their booth at the Manteca farmer’s market, and reports about the Ripon raid on Wednesday noted that other police agencies were also involved. 

It’s the risk factors involved with illegal fireworks, police say, that make them a priority during this time of year. 

“Illegal fireworks, especially large quantities like with this case, are incredibly dangerous to the residents and community,” Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jose Izaguirre said in the agency’s statement. “Too many times we have seen people seriously injured or killed, as well as property damaged due to their use.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.