“Landlord” was arrested on 1/17/17, for trying to repair water damage to one of his rental properties. The tenants had said they were anxious to get the repairs completed so that their children would not be exposed to mold.
Turns out the tenants were a special breed of “squatters”, who specialize in avoidance of paying rent. The landlord had served the tenants with formal notice of failure to pay rent. In return, the tenants claimed that Landlord “battered” the wife as he was entering the home to document the insurance claim so that repairs could be done. The wife worked as a dispatcher at 911, so she got special treatment from Port St. Lucie police: they promptly arrested Landlord. The landlord just as promptly hired Port St. Lucie battery defense lawyer Jeffrey Garland to resolve the mess.
Garland discovered that tenants were serial squatters who had been evicted three times in the previous four years. The allegations in each eviction case were strikingly similar. The tenants asserted each time some claim which, they hoped, would prolong each eviction, thereby allowing them to “squat” rent free.
The tenants were very specific in making their false police report. They asserted that the Landlord pushed the wife out of the way with his left shoulder. The story was demonstrably false because Landlord’s left shoulder had been surgically removed. The landlord could open and close his hand, but the arm was almost useless because of the surgery. Strike one against tenant squatters.
Attorney Garland uncovered that the husband squatter liked to dress and play policeman. He put fake emergency lights on his fake patrol car and terrorized unwitting people. Fortunately, an alert guard at a gated community suspected something was amiss. The guard called the real Port St. Lucie police, who arrested the husband squatter on a felony charge of pretending to be a cop. That felony charge was still pending when the Landlord was arrested. Strike two.
Attorney Garland made public records request for the wife’s employment records at 911. Turns out that the wife had quite – apparently in lieu of being fired – for misconduct on the job. The employment records showed that the wife liked to post “funny” 911 calls onto social networking sites, like the story about the woman sexually assaulted at a local mental health facility. Strike three. The prosecutor finally came to the conclusion that the charge was not worth prosecuting. On May 12, 2017 – just three days before trial – the State filed a nolle prosequi. All charges dropped.
The landlord was a 61-year-old man with a serious disability. Wretched police work caused this man to be arrested and subjected to criminal prosecution upon the transparently false claim that he battered a woman with a non-existent shoulder. The motivation for the false claim was an attempt to create a circumstance to prolong the eviction proceeding so that the tenants could live rent-free. As they hoped to live rent-free, they also hoped to continue to terrorize the Port St. Lucie community with “hilarious” postings about rape victims, and by pretending to be a cop in order to stop unwitting motorists. Case closed.