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Resident says police tried to knock down wrong door

A Charleston woman says police tried to knock down her door, looking for a suspect that wasn't there, before finding the man two doors down.

Marilyn Caldwell, 64, said she was sitting on her couch around 10 p.m. last Thursday, trying to get her 18-month-old grandson to sleep, when she heard something hit her front screen door.

"It sounded like somebody was trying to break in," she said.

A few seconds later, it hit the door again.

"I've never heard nothing like it before, it was so loud," she said. "My daughter was upstairs in the bed and said it shook her bed."

When Caldwell looked out her window, she saw a large group of people standing outside. She opened the door and looked out, and saw people with guns on the sidewalk. Some were wearing jackets with "SHERIFF" emblazoned on the back, she said.

"There was a big truck parked across the street and the lady next door said they jumped out of that truck. It was like a big milk truck," she said.

Caldwell said the men then went to her next door neighbor's home, at 924 Central Ave., and attempted to break in that house, too.

Finally, they ended up at 922 Central Ave. She said police entered the residence and came out a short time later with a handcuffed man.

Caldwell said none of the officers said anything about trying to break down her door.

"I don't know how they could come in like that, not knowing what house they were going to. That's dangerous," she said.

According to a press release from Nitro Police, officers there arrested Keith Jamal Burnett, 29, at 922 Central Ave. with assistance from the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office and Charleston Police.

Court documents showed officers had a warrant for Burnett's arrest and listed the address as 922 Central Ave.

Burnett was arrested following investigation of an Aug. 31 burglary in Nitro, where a woman was severely beaten in the head with a gun, according to the press release. He is charged with first-degree robbery, malicious wounding, nighttime burglary and assault during the commission of a felony.

Capt. Sean Crosier of the Kanawha Sheriff's Department said he assisted in the arrest Thursday night but said police did not attempt to knock down any doors at neighboring houses.

"We were not at 926, I don't know what she's talking about," he said. "I was there. We went to the right house, and it was not 926. It's close, but it was 922."

Caldwell's landlord, Lynn Williams, said she contacted Kanawha Sheriff's Deputy Capt. Bryan Robbins about the incident, but he also denied police tried to knock down the door.

Still, something left a big dent in the door at 926 Central Ave.

"You can see where it was hit," Caldwell said.

Williams wants it to be fixed. She said she recently paid $700 to have the steel-reinforced door specially installed.

"I guess I got my money's worth 'cause they couldn't get in," she said. "They couldn't get through it."

Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or Follow him at


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