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January 11, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Sheriff's deputies kick squatters off Central Area property

The house after squatters moved in. (Photo by Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Seven men who had been squatting inside a Central Area home under renovation were escorted off the property this morning by a King County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

The SWAT team came in riot gear, not knowing fully what to expect at the home in the 300 block of 23rd Avenue East, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. Since serving the home with an eviction notice on Dec. 29, deputies hear that the squatters had plans to resist anyone who tried to kick them off the property.

“We had heard there was some fortifying going on. They had a castle lock, a two-by-six that goes across the door, and it was reported there may be some booby traps and they may throw feces and urine bombs at the police if they get evicted,” West said. “Our SWAT guys were all prepared, they brought extra clothes and everything.”

The house in June 2008 before squatters moved in (Photo from Google Earth)

When the SWAT team showed up at the home around 4:20 a.m. they yelled for the squatters to come out and cut down the front door. They did so, peacefully, West said. No arrests were made.

West said she wasn’t certain how long the squatters had been inside the home. There were allegations that everyone living inside the home were members of Occupy Seattle. The homeowner, who lives out of state, was in the process of remodeling the property when he was contacted by the City of Seattle about the group squatting.

The sheriff’s office handles all eviction notices inside the county.

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