A former director for Planned Parenthood has killed himself after a botched police raid that was part of an investigation into him for child pornography.
Tim Yergeau, 35, previously worked as the director of strategic communications for the Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. He was found deceased on Tuesday.
Police had attempted to raid Yergeau’s New Haven, Connecticut, home as part of the child pornography investigation on April 6 — but went to his neighbor’s instead. Five days later, he was dead.
“The person who died was definitely the suspect in a child pornography investigation and the person who committed suicide,” New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson told the Middletown Press.
According to the report, “Jacobson said there are still two open investigations into the matter and police are not going to release the application for the search warrant or information about what was found in Yergeau’s apartment until they are certain no one else is involved in the case. The state could also decide whether or not to release the warrant.”
During the botched raid, police kicked in his neighbor Stacey Wezenter’s door and handcuffed her before realizing they were at the wrong apartment. Her 20 and four year old children were home during the incident.
“What if I had a gun permit? What if I came down the hallway with a gun? Would I have gotten shot? What if my 4-year-old had woken up? Would they have shot him?” Wezenter told the paper. “You just don’t do that to people.”
“I started running down the hallway, it was just like a movie. They had guns and flashlights on me,” Wezenter said. “They put me against the wall and handcuffed me. I was crying and saying, ‘What’s happening?'”
During the raid, police kept asking her where Yergeau was.
“I was like, ‘What man? I’m here with my children,'” she said. “They asked, ‘Who’s Tim? ‘ and I said that’s my neighbor downstairs.”
Jacobson told the New Haven Independent that the botched raid is under investigation and that the department will work to make things right.
“We’re very sorry that that happened to her and we’re gonna do everything possible to make it right,” he said. “It’s a traumatic thing.”
Yergeau was not arrested at the time of the raid.
Despite being a mother, Wezenter has defended Yergeau and said that she wonders if a “small act of compassion” could have saved him.
“I almost brought him some Easter dinner leftover last night. I was going to tell him that he’s innocent until proven guilty,” she said, according to the Independent. She ended up falling asleep before she could bring it over. “He was such a sweet guy. Always positive. A glass half-full kinda guy. It’s really sad regardless of what he may or may not have done.”
“It shouldn’t have ended this way,” Wezenter said. “I feel like small acts of compassion may have changed things. Maybe I could’ve saved him.”