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New York family left homeless after police rip down walls to serve DWI warrant

Published: January 8, 2015
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The now-condemned home of widow Melissa Cady. (Image: Simon Wheeler / Ithaca Journal)

The now-condemned home of widow Melissa Cady. (Image: Simon Wheeler / Ithaca Journal)

DANBY, NY — A family has been left homeless after law enforcement agencies destroyed their entire house in the process of serving a warrant for a man for driving while intoxicated.

The home of David and Melissa Cady was condemned after armored police vehicles plowed through several walls while attempting to get 36-year-old Mr. Cady to surrender. A bench warrant had been issued after Mr. Cady missed a court appearance August 26, 2014, regarding his DWI conviction. On December 30th, 2014, a SWAT team moved in to make the arrest.

With the home at 127 Hornbrook Road surrounded, Melissa and the two children peacefully exited upon request. But David Cady did not, and police spent extensive resources to perform a lengthy standoff, resulting in his death.

“I’ve known him for like 12 years,” said friend and neighbor Dave McCarthy to the Ithaca Journal. “He’s been a good neighbor, he’s got a wife, two nice kids, a dog.”

Police cordoned off roughly 20 other homes while besieging the Cady residence. Neighbors were not allowed to return after leaving their homes on the 1.7-mile stretch of restricted roadway.

Police suspected Mr. Cady was armed. On the evening of December 30th, police say that a single shot was fired. It was the only shot of the entire standoff.

After this shot, Mr. Cady stopped communicating with police. Police proceeded to break down the walls to with armored vehicles to “restrict his movement,” and shot teargas into the house until 61 hours had passed, when they finally realized their suspect had died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Soon after, Danby Code Enforcement declared the home to be unlivable and condemned the property.

Resident Kory Watkins uploaded a video (below) of the the Cady’s former house, which now features gaping holes and mounds of debris scattered across the yard.

Watkins captioned the video: “All for a warrant. A violation of Probation for a D.W.I. and it took over 150 officers from over 18 agencies and military vehicles with more than 50 bombs of tear gas to end this like this…UNNECESSARY!”

The stunning turn of events left Mrs. Cady and her two children with no father and no home.

“She [Mrs. Cady] really has lost all the stability in her life in one fell swoop,” explained Pastor Ed Enstine of Danby Federated Church. “She’s basically lived her own life and worked and doesn’t take handouts very easily, but in this case she’s basically back to square 1 — square 0, at this point.”

In a showing of charity, Pastor Enstine is organizing a fundraiser to help get the Cady family back on their feet. See details below.

The Ithaca Journal reported that over a dozen agencies were involved with the standoff, including Ithaca Police Department, Cornell University Police, Ithaca College Public Safety, Ithaca Fire Department, New York State Police, New York State Park Police, Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, Syracuse Police Department, Elmira Police Department, Broome County Sheriff’s Office, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and Tompkins County Office of Emergency Management.




A relief fund has been established by Pastor Ed Enstine at the Danby Federated Church. Checks should be made payable to Danby Federated Church. Write in the memo section: “Cady Relief Fund.”

Danby Federated Church
1859 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 272-1687

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