Owners, employees feel violated after police raid car wash

Owners, employees feel violated after police raid car wash, leave empty-handed

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Big Mike's Auto Spa is on East Seven Mile Road in Detroit. Big Mike's Auto Spa is on East Seven Mile Road in Detroit.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

A Detroit car wash is raided by the narcotics squad, but the owner of the car wash says the authorities took this one too far.

"I was shocked. We have been here six months already, had no problems up until today," says owner Mike Burton. His car wash, Big Mike's Auto Spa on East Seven Mile Road was the target of major drug raid in Detroit.

Surveillance video captured it all go down. With guns drawn, Detroit narcotics first go after the guys leaving the car wash in a silver Tahoe. They're handcuffed and taken into custody after officers discover a handgun, AK-47 and 4,000 dollars in cash.    

Employees at the car wash thought police had gotten what they were after and the raid was over. They never saw a search warrant.

But then, the raid continued.

"Police was everywhere. Doors knocked down, kicked down. My employees all on the floor, carrying customers all on the floor. You know, I'm scared to death," Burton tells FOX 2's Taryn Asher.

Video shows how police tear the place apart, looking for drugs and money, overturning couches and smashing walls. Some employees, who had their hands in the air, claim they were roughed up or injured by police and that they just took it too far.

One employee told Asher an officer put his knee in his back so hard he couldn't breathe, and when he told the officer so he says the officer responded saying, 'Shut the f--- up.'

A customer says he had 300 dollars in his ash tray, but the money was gone after an officer searched the car.

The owners of Big Mike's claim they have since filed a complaint with internal affairs, feeling what happened inside the car wash was unacceptable.

"This is a family owned business. We don't bother anybody here," says Burton.

So why was Big Mike's targeted?

Detroit police tell Asher they did have a search warrant to raid the car wash and were acting on a tip. The only person who appears to have seen the warrant was one of the men who was taken into custody at the beginning of the raid, and Burton says that man has nothing to do with the car wash.

Police say, although they had information the drugs were being sold out of the car wash, besides a small sandwich bag full of pot, police admit they never found anything inside. The only things they discovered were the guns and a large amount of money found on the two guys taken into custody.

Employees at the car wash maintain all they did was their jobs cleaning the cars.

FOX 2 did show police the surveillance video of the raid and they do plan to investigate what happened, mainly if a police officer did take money from that customer's car which is a claim they take seriously. The car wash is also still under investigation.

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