Wrongfully-raided victim: 'They said they'd blow my head off'

SPANAWAY, Wash. -- Pierce County deputies thought they were storming a house full of drug dealers and gang members.

Instead, they terrified an elderly woman and her daughter, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Now, the county faces a lawsuit.

The sheriff's office says the SWAT team made a mistake a year and a half ago when the team raided the home of 78-year-old Marlene Stivers.

Stivers says she jolted up in bed when someone smashed her window.

"In the morning -- bang! -- glass goes out. It's all over me, all over the floor," she said. "And (there was) a bright, bright light shining in my eyes."

Then she saw rifles pointed straight at her head.

"Yes, they said they'd blow my head off if I moved," she said.

Stivers' adult daughter, who is bedridden with multiple sclerosis, screamed from the other room: "What's happening?"

That's when the deputies realized they made a big mistake, according to Stivers, who has filed a lawsuit against the county claiming emotional distress.

"I'm terrified every night (thinking) they're going to come back and do it all over again," she said. Aside from a 20-year-old traffic ticket, Stivers says she's never been in trouble with the law.

It turns out the SWAT team meant to raid the home next door to Stivers' in search of guns and gang members.

In response, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department says deputies never went inside Stivers's home, and only one deputy went up to her window. The department apologized and said it would pay for the damage to her home.

"Well, they gave me $600-some, the SWAT team did," Stivers said.

And when it comes to raiding the wrong house, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said, "The right house was targeted, but one deputy made a mistake himself and it was dark."

But that's of little consolation to Stivers.

"I've just been so upset," she said. "(I am dealing with) my high blood pressure, and I can't do what I used to do because I'm so worked up from everything. I'm so scared they're going to come back again."

Stivers would not specify the exact amount she is seeking in damages, but said it is near $50,000.