Police kicked out five people squatting in a boarded-up house near 12th and Jefferson December 14. The people squatting in the house identified themselves as part of Occupy Seattle until their camp at Seattle Central Community College was closed this week.
The occupants left the house voluntarily, police said.
Here’s SPD’s take on the eviction:
On December 14th at approximately 1:00 p.m. a property owner observed at least one subject entering a vacant and boarded up house in the 1200 block of East Jefferson Street. The witness knew that the residence was unoccupied and no one should be inside. He subsequently called 911.
Upon arrival officers noted that the rear door handle of the house was unlocked and easily turned. While waiting for additional units to arrive officers discovered that the rear door had been locked. An officer relocated to the front of the house just as the occupants began to exit. Five subjects (three males and two females) voluntarily exited the house with their hands raised.
The lead subject was holding a shiny brass key in his right hand and kept repeating, “we have the key”. All five subjects immediately identified themselves with the “Occupy Seattle” movement.
Inside the house an officer located a brand new (still in the box) door lock/deadbolt assembly, which was submitted to evidence. When the officer I exited the house, one of the male subjects said, “Oh, hey, you found our lock set”. The subjects admitted to officers that they were intending to change the locks at this residence.
Because officers were unable to establish contact with the legal property owner, SFD responded and secured the premise.
Officers identified and released all five subjects with a request for charges by the city attorney’s office for trespassing.
Meanwhile, the group at Turritopsis Nutricula are still living in the unfinished duplex at 23rd and Alder, nearly one month after taking the space over. While police and the Department of Planning and Development have signaled their intent to evict the occupiers there, Publicola reports that the property owner (Denmark West) has some concerns about liability should there be a police raid.
Other vacant houses could see groups of squatters moving in. An article in anarchist newspaper Tides of Flame (posted on the Puget Sound Anarchists website) has some helpful tips for those looking to occupy a vacant home.