Ok, how cool is it that the Sr. Cpl. of Dallas SWAT has the last name of Houston:)?
It was anything but a typical bust for Dallas’ SWAT team on Saturday.
Officers, in full gear and armed with pry bars, stormed into Carlton Marshall’s house near Lancaster to carry out an extra-special mission.
“Hit it!” yelled Ty Pennington, host of the ABC reality TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
The cameras rolled as the SWAT team smashed their fellow officer’s toilet and tore down a wall to demolish the house so the show and local builder Cheldan Homes can build him a new one.
Marshall, who suffered disabling injuries after being shot in the neck during a 2007 drug raid, went on vacation with his family while crews started work to build him a larger house that is wheelchair-accessible.
The project got started Saturday with the demolition, as SWAT team members hooked chains from their vehicle to the back of the house.
“Let’s pull this thing down!” Pennington yelled as window frames and parts of a wall crashed to the ground. Bulldozers finished the job, stirring clouds of dust.
It was a wrap.
Earlier that morning, the officers spent a couple of hours filming a scene in which they rode with Pennington through Marshall’s backyard in two military-style SWAT vehicles. Two police SUVs followed, lights flashing. A police helicopter zoomed overhead to heighten the effect.
Each time the SWAT team rolled close to the house, assistant director Mike Connelly cued a crowd of volunteers by the house to cheer.
“If you could be there, hooting and hollering,” he said through a loudspeaker. “We love the energy of this raucous crowd.”
The officers, who wore 20 to 30 pounds of dark gear as temperatures climbed toward 100 degrees Saturday morning, said they were thankful to be able to volunteer to help their friend.
“It means a lot for our team,” said Senior Cpl. Tim Houston. “We can only do so much for Carlton.”
Houston said he was glad the new wheelchair-accessible house would help the officer, who suffered spinal cord injuries, do more things for himself. The finished product also will have a specially designed physical therapy center.
“We’re all SWAT guys, we’re independent, and it’s hard to be dependent on your family,” Houston said. “He just wants to do simple things like get the kids out of bed or do the laundry.
“Hopefully this makes his life a lot more enjoyable and makes it easier on his family,” he said.
As the filming went on Saturday, a dozen or so spectators stood nearby in a fenced area. The filming transformed Marshall’s neighborhood, where people ride horses down the street, from its typical quiet country scene.
“This is the most action this street has ever gotten,” 12-year-old neighbor Christian Stewart said.
Visitors had to pass through three security points. About a dozen trailers were parked on what is typically open prairie. Dozens of cars were parked in a field. Several portable toilets were delivered for all the crews.
But the excitement will only last a few more days. By this morning, crews expected to have the foundation poured and the frame installed. On Monday, volunteer Dallas police officers will set the stone exterior. On Thursday, the Marshalls will return to see their new home.
Several of the officers recorded messages, videotaped by Pennington, for Marshall to watch when he returns.
“I told [Carlton], Susan and the kids to come on home, because we’ve got a new one for you,” said Senior Cpl. Kevin Seng.