SAVANNAH, GA (August 15, 2011): Police were duped into forcing open the door to the wrong house but ended up with a domestic violence suspect in custody after they apologized to his neighbors Monday afternoon.


Roy Lee Smith, 30, of the 1100 block of 33rd Street, was charged with battery under the Domestic Violence Act and false imprisonment after his 58-year-old former girlfriend reported he forced her to have sex with him on Aug. 11.


Patrol officers and detectives from the Downtown Precinct had gone to the residence in search of Smith about 4:15 p.m. and found his car and someone who resembled him near the house across the street.  Police asked the man they were questioning to open the door to the residence.


Rather than advise police that he was not Smith and that Smith lived across the street, the man asked why they needed to get in, told them no one was there and called someone on his cell phone. Police heard activity in the residence and forced open the door, only to find a family including children and a disabled woman living there. They quickly apologized and moved to the correct address where they took Smith into custody.


City of Savannah loss prevention was advised of the damage to the door frame and will handle repairs. Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police have initiated an investigation into the mistaken location.


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