The oops began when the FBI in San Diego notified the Springfield, Or. cops that a man in that community had purchased a suicide kit from a 91-year-old retired science teacher in California.
The FBI had raided the California woman’s home four months ago and then started — although belatedly — notifying police departments around the country about customers who had purchased the kit, Reuters news service reported.
On Tuesday, the Oregon police department stormed the home of a customer, and busted down the door in an attempt to save the person’s life.
Well, turns out that the home belonged to a copy editor at the Register-Guard newspaper who had purchased the homemade kit for a reporter working on a story about the issue.
Reuters reported that the copy editor wasn’t home at the time and the do-it-yourself asphyxiation package purchased seven months ago was in the reporter’s desk drawer.
Reuters reported that police apologized for the intrusion. Police explained that they had knocked the down the door thinking the man might be in danger of killing himself.
“We’re going to fix the door,” Springfield police sergeant John Umenhofer said, according to Reuters. “But we always err of the side of going in, if there is a question of safety.”
Reuters reports that San Diego FBI spokesman in San Diego Darrell Foxworth conceded that there was a four month lapse between the time the FBI raided the California woman’s home and notified the Springfield, Or., department. He said it took time to review the California woman’s records and get the word to local authorities.