Break-in supported by Rochester Police caught on camera

May 22, 2018 09:55 AM

Rochester Police were caught on camera encouraging a man to break into his girlfriend's home while she was inside. 

Catherine Bonner is now facing felony charges from the incident that happened at her home last November. David Pilato, her attorney, has asked the judge in this case to drop the charges. 


Pilato says Bonner and her boyfriend had just had a fight the night before the incident and she didn't think the police were there to help

"They did eventually knock on the door and identify themselves...what she said is: 'I'm not opening the door, I'm not letting you in. I don't feel safe. You are supposed to protect me and you're not protecting me'," Pilato says.

Here the conversation that was captured on the bodycam footage: 

Rochester Police Officer Korey McNees, "So let me tell you what New York State law says... New York State law says you live here, right? You've been here for five months." 

Bonner's boyfriend: "She changed the locks."

Officer McNees: "Is she in the house? You have a right to kick the door if you want to gain access. You won't be held as a criminal. You have a right to be here." 

Bonner's boyfriend was allegedly trying to retrieve items he left in her apartment. But Bonner wouldn't open the door. 

Officer McNees: "I'm not telling you what to do. I'm just saying you have a right to kick the door in. You can gain entry any way you can break a window glass. It's cheaper to repair." 

The man hesitated before proceeding to take the officer's advice. Bonner then pulled a gun and told the man to get away from her house.  

Bonner: "Stop breaking in my house." 

Officer McNees: "Ma'am put the gun down." 

After a few more minutes, Bonner did put the gun down and talked with police. They proceeded to search her home.

Since this incident, the Rochester Police Department has made a change in policy. Officers will no longer tell people in domestic incidents that they a right to break into their homes if they are locked out. 

Bonner is due back in court Tuesday afternoon.


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