After that, Trofatter got in the car and the two “left the scene without further incident.”
In his report, Lovering explains why he wanted Thomas to enter the building after finding doors unlocked and the place smelling overwhelmingly of urine and feces.
“My concerns at the time were that a child or other person(s) could be in the building and if we locked the door, they could become disorientated and trapped in the building,” Lovering wrote. “I also considered the possibility that someone could be held or injured in the building.”
Thomas, an attorney, expressing the legal issues he saw. Lovering wrote that Thomas acted as a “devil’s advocate,” worrying if police entered they could be accused of “illegally entering the building.”
“Thomas asked what the crime was and why he should enter the building. He said that looking at it from a legal point of view, if there was no crime he couldn’t enter the building,” Lovering wrote in his report.
Lovering told Thomas of his concerns that someone could be in the building, but Thomas still refused to enter.
“I told Officer Thomas that this was the first time a police officer had refused to help the Building Department and he told me: ‘Well mark the day because today is the day that we aren’t going to help you.”
Lovering wrote that with the exception of this encounter, he has “always been treated with respect and kindness by the (Salisbury Police Department),” adding that he believed Thomas was “. . . operating from the standpoint of an attorney not that of (a) police officer who was called for assistance by the (t)own of Salisbury.”
In his report, Lovering wrote that he spoke with Chief Fowler, giving him his side of the story. Lovering wrote that Fowler agreed the police department “should enter the building,” and Lovering asked Fowler to call Thomas.