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Elderly man gets caught in tear gas during SWAT search

South Bend, Ind. -- Only ABC57 spoke with an elderly man who was caught in the middle of a SWAT stand-off in South Bend. The man ended up getting tear gassed as the SWAT officers searched for suspects.


"Scared me man," said James Campbell. "I didn’t know what was going on."

Wednesday evening quickly turned into a night Campbell won’t soon forget.

He was inside his home along Donald Street on the city's south side when the SWAT team busted inside and filled his home with tear gas.

"I was asleep," said Campbell. "I was in the bed. I didn’t know what was going on. House full of smoke. I don’t know how it got there because I was asleep."

Police were first got the call around 4 p.m. for a report of a fight with weapons drawn.

When police arrived an officer spotted someone who may have been a person of interest in another case. Police would not say what case that was.

Officers say those involved quickly scattered.

"The officer seen several people run into the house and we secured the house as quickly as we could," said South Bend Police Patrol Division Chief Eric Crittendon. "We waited for SWAT to get here to end this peacefully."

It was Campbell’s house where they thought the men were.

After atempting to negotiate for an hour with no response -- SWAT went in.

"Once we got a search warrant signed but a judge to enter the house. SWAT did use tear gas prior to entering," said Crittendon.

Once inside the only person they fould was Campbell.

"I was the only one there," said Campbell. "They pulled me out. The fireman pulled me out there."

Asia williams says scenes like this are becoming all too familiar in this neighborhood, but she says it wasn’t always this way.

"It was a neighborhood to where everybody could bring their kids out to play to relax and stuff," said Williams.

She wished it got the attention it needed and not only when people are behaving badly.

As for Campbell, he’s just thankful things didn’t end worse.

"Thank God. I feel blessed," said Campbell. "I thank God for that."

Campbell was checked out at the scene and says he will likely have to go to the doctors because the tear gas may have affected his cataracts.

Police took three people in for questioning, but did not say where those people were finally picked up.

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