*How’d you like to be the family of NBA star Ray Allen … asleep when out of nowhere 7 young (white) people invite themselves into your home because … well because they just want to see how you live.
The Miami Heat free-agent guard and his family live in fashionable Coral Gables, Florida. And as you can imagine, the Allens and their attorney are seeing the incident as more than an innocuous break in.
“The crime was not only egregious, but the police characterization of this as a silly prank is completely inappropriate,” said attorney Gregory Victor, who has been retained by the Allen family in the wake of the incident.
According to reports, Allen had initially rented his Coral Gables home while playing for the Heat, before recently purchasing the home. He entertained his Heat teammates at the home in February in a lavish outdoor Super Bowl party. He was not present at the time of the incident, but reportedly since has returned.
“Miami is our home and we are proud to be active members in this community,” Allen said in a statement issued through the Virginia-based sports agency that represents him. “We pray that no one else has to endure this kind of intrusion on their home or their families’ safety.”
The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. on Tahiti Beach Island Road. According to Officer Kelly Denham, the young adults who broke into Allen’s home — six men and a woman, ages 18 to 19 — had attended a party next door.
Denham said the seven were found in a home elsewhere in Coral Gables, about two miles away. Each was interviewed by police and offered consistent stories: They were curious about Allen’s home and didn’t think anyone was inside.
If you’re wondering why no one has been arrested, Denham said the department’s “hands were tied with the law.”
“The Coral Gables Police Department stands with the Allen family that no one should enter a home without the permission of a homeowner without consequences,” she said. “We went out to investigate an occupied burglary. Through our investigation we realized the only element of a crime we had was a charge of trespassing.”
Earlier, Gables police said in a statement, “Although the individuals had entered the residence, there was no proof that they had the intent to commit any crimes inside. The Miami-Dade County state attorney’s office advised the detectives that no arrests should be made at that time, in that the elements of a burglary had not been met [and] that the appropriate charge in this case was the crime of trespass in an occupied structure, a misdemeanor.”
OK, so what about charging them with trespassing?
“Law enforcement officers are not permitted by Florida law to make an arrest for a trespass of this nature unless the crime occurs in their presence,” the statement said.
Of course. That’s right. Everybody knows that. Not!
You can get MORE of this story at the Miami Herald.
Watch this video report from CBS Miami: