The home invasion by Florida teens into Ray Allen's Coral Gables home earlier this month has brought about changes that will empower local police officers in the future to arrest individuals who commit similar crimes.
City Commissioners in Coral Gables approved a new law this week that will allow police officers to arrest individuals who trespass in private homes regardless of whether those officers see the individuals do it.
The new law applies to Coral Gables, but Coral Gables officials are optimistic that state laws will soon reflect similar changes.
Current laws in the state of Florida allow officers to arrest trespassers only if they see the intrusion.
There were no officers present when seven teens entered Allen's home around 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 14. Ray Allen was not there at the time, but his wife Shannon was there along with their children.
According to the police report, the teens entered through a back door.
Police said charging the teens with burglary was not an option because a lack of evidence existed that the teens tried to commit a crime.
While initial reports made it sound as though the teens didn't know that Allen's family was in the home, the former Celtic said that should not diminish the seriousness of what happened and could have potentially happened.
"The suggestion that anyone can unlawfully enter into someone’s locked home and then into an occupied bedroom in the middle of the night without consequences is unsettling, regardless of the stated or actual reason for such unlawful entry," Ray Allen said in a statement. "We are very fortunate that no one involved was physically harmed during this ordeal."
Although not initially charged with any crime, the Miami-Dade state attorney's officer has since charged all seven with trespassing based on Shannon Allen's testimony. They will each receive a summons to appear in court to answer the charges.
According to Shannon Allen, she was with her children at the time and awakened by voices that according to the report, "sounded like young adults."
“What the [expletive] are you doing in my house?” she shouted, according to the report.
At least one of the seven teens was a female and she shouted, "Oh my God" which according to the report, was followed by laughter.
The teens then left the house through the same way they entered.
“I’m disappointed in the fact that we were unable to arrest those individuals. Hopefully we can right that wrong with this ordinance,” Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lago told the Miami Herald. “I think this is just a Band-Aid, and we need to set the bar just a little bit higher. Coral Gables does not put up with this type of behavior.”
And neither does Ray Allen.
"We pray that no one else has to endure this kind of intrusion on their home or their families’ safety," Allen said. "Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own homes."