DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A woman says she’s lost nearly everything after a murder suspect barricaded himself in an apartment next door last week. To get the man out police and SWAT units fired off hundreds of tear gas and concussion canisters. Some of them landed in her apartment.
Jessica Grooms says, “As soon as I walked in the door, it was like I went blind after two seconds.”
Grooms had just been released from the hospital after an illness. “I came out and I was coughing and throwing up from the tear gas, it was so heavy.”
One day earlier, Dayton Police and SWAT tactical teams engaged a murder suspect in an hours-long standoff.
Grooms’s next door apartment was severely damaged and inhospitable. She says, “I’m wearing my dad’s pajamas, thanks dad. I don’t have any clothes, I don’t have even the simplest items, I have nothing. It’s all in there in that mess and I can’t touch that stuff.”
Jessica’s landlord put her in another unit for now. An attorney says her next step should be to itemize the damage.
Attorney Jennifer Bock says, “That way there’s an open communication on both sides. That way the landlord is also put a notice in case the landlord fails to remedy the issue within a reasonable amount of time, which is typically seen as 30 days.”
But anything inside the apartment is covered by renter’s insurance. Jessica Grooms doesn’t have renter’s insurance, but some cities or departments have what’s called a moral obligation fund to help in situations like this.
Jennifer Bock says, “Obviously it was an emergency in pursuit of a criminal, these things do happen. But the police department does have insurance of their own for reasons such as this.”
UPDATE: the City of Dayton reached out to us, asking us to connect them with Jessica. The city does have a moral obligation fund, and the legal department will be reaching out to see what can be done.