Woman furious after Winnipeg police smash way into her home

A 59-year-old Manitoba woman is demanding an apology from Winnipeg police after officers burst into her home and handcuffed her on the ground.

Police raided Geraldine Demchuk's home as part of national drug operation

Geraldine Demchuk said police went overboard in using battering rams and smoke bombs to charge into her house when they were looking for her son, Sean. (CBC)

A 59-year-old Manitoba woman is demanding an apology from Winnipeg police after officers burst into her home and handcuffed her on the ground.

Geraldine Demchuk said police, using battering rams, barged into her home in Winnipeg Beach at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday.

​Both her front and back doors were knocked in and the officers fired two smoke bombs into the house as well — one into the back door and the other through her bedroom window. The window was left shattered with glass all over the bed, Demchuk said.

Geraldine Demchuk shows where police used a battering ram to bash in her door. (CBC)
At first she thought the loud bang was a gas explosion and ran from the living room to the kitchen window to see what was going on. She noticed people with guns running around and thought she was being robbed.

Demchuk didn't realize it was police until later, after they burst in and told her to get on the ground. They put her hands behind her back and handcuffed for about five minutes before investigators arrived and told her they were looking for her son, Sean Demchuk.

"It was terrifying. Like, I'm thinking, 'what if my grandkids had been here ... if they'd been jumping on my bed,'" Demchuk said.

"All they had to do is knock on the door. I've got nothing to hide. They shouldn't have used the force that they did to come into my home. If that's not overkill I don't know what is."

The officers had an arrest warrant for the 31-year-old former member of the Zig Zag Crew, a puppet club of the Manitoba Hells Angels, for allegedly trafficking meth and cocaine.

Demchuk's son wasn't there and according to her, has never lived there.

The raid was one of two that happened in the province as part of Project Distress. Members of the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force — a joint unit of the RCMP and Winnipeg Police Service — also targeted a house on McFadden Avenue Winnipeg's Transcona neighbourhood.

That one is owned by Ray Ulasy, who made an unsuccessful bid to replace Russ Wyatt as city councillor for Transcona.

The RCMP are holding a news conference Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT to release information "regarding a large take down and seizure of drugs that spans four provinces."

Demchuk said the police caused about $2,000 in damage at her house and she is demanding Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis apologize for the officers' actions and pay to repair the damage.

"Why should I have to pay to have all my doors fixed to have my window fixed, to be put on the ground in handcuffs? What have I ever done?" She said.

"Like, overkill or what? They come in in their swat gear. I mean come on, are they watching too many shows?

"Really, I'd like to know why they felt it necessary for them to come and destroy what I have and then just walk away like nothing happened, like it was just a big joke."