The residence of a shocked Baltimore Rabbi was the target of a significant police raid on Thursday.
Thankfully, nobody was wounded because it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. On his way home from his shul’s office for a quick lunch, Rabbi Yehonasan Aryeh Seidemann noticed two dozen police trucks and hundreds of armed agents approaching his calm suburban home, as first reported in Baltimore Jewish Life.
His family members were also present. The tale begins with the daughter and son-in-law of the Seidemanns, who were guests from Ohio at the same time as the Ohio police were looking for a criminal from that region.
Evidently, the offender had previously owned the son-in-law’s cell phone number, which is why it rang at the Seidemanns’ residence.
The local and federal law enforcement agencies were contacted by the Ohio fugitive task force.
When the “cavalry” arrived, they were confident they had found the fugitive when they noticed an Ohio license plate in the Seidemanns’ driveway, which resulted in a terrifying few minutes.
Hamodia claimed that the police had surrounded the home and given an expulsion order for everyone inside.
The police arrived with huge guns, battering rams, and other weapons that had not been seen in the suburban neighborhood in recent memory. Some of the policemen were from a SWAT squad, while others were from local and state police as well as U.S. marshals.
The SWAT team did not, however, use the standard approach of breaking down the door. Instead, they requested that everyone leave and that the door be opened carefully.
The son-in-law who was there gently explained that there was a baby inside and asked permission to go get the sleeping 2-year-old. According to reports, Rabbi Seidemann claimed the issue was resolved amicably because the law enforcement officials were very sorry, and he commended them for their efforts in keeping the community safe.
According to Hamodia, Rabbi Seidemann included the terrifying incident in his Shabbos drasha.
As we approach Tisha B’Av, my daughter made the following observation: “Our avodah is to concentrate on eradicating sinas chinam, and a significant part of that is being dan l’kaf z’chus, viewing others favorably.
The phone number, the car’s license plate—everything seemed to indicate to the police that they had their suspect—but in reality, they knew nothing. How often do we assume we are fully informed about a scenario we have seen or heard about when, in reality, we are completely in the dark?