April 25, 2014
A soldier from New Port Richey, Florida says that squatters took over his house while he was stationed in Hawaii for two years, and when it came time to move back into his home with his wife, the squatters refused to leave.
As reported earlier this week, Army Spc. Michael Sharkey says that he and his wife haven’t lived in their Florida home in the two years that he’s been stationed in Hawaii, but upon learning they could go back to Florida, they were shocked to discover that two ex-cons broke in, changed the locks, and were refusing to leave. Unfortunately for Sharkey, he was told that legally, there was nothing he could do to force them out.
“They are criminals,” said Sharkey to WFLA. “I am serving my country, and they have more rights to my home than I do.”
Police told Sharkey that they could do nothing about the couple, Julio Ortiz and Fatima Cardosa, since they already established residency, so the matter would have to be settled in a civil court.
Ortiz claims that he made a verbal agreement with Sharkey’s friend, who was overseeing the home while the soldier and his wife were gone, that they could live there for free as long as they did repairs on the house. Both Sharkey and his friend say those claims are lies, but Ortiz has continued to defend himself.
"The people that are in this house cannot produce any documentation, lease, agreement, anything that they belong in that house," said Sharkey.
Once word got out that the squatters had taken over Sharkey’s house, a group of military veteran bikers announced that they would be paying a visit to the home to “peacefully make the squatters uncomfortable.”
That seems to be all it took because now, reports say that Ortiz and his girlfriend have packed up their belongings and are leaving the home for good.