Fort Hernandez, Symbol Of Occupy's Anti-Foreclosure Stance, Evicted
Updated at the bottom: A spokesman says Sheriff Lee Baca delayed the foreclosure so it would take place after Christmas. Additional details, including a cash offer for the family to leave, after the jump.
@PeggySue_6 / Yfrog
The eviction after a four-month sit-in at the Hernandez family home in Van Nuys was reported about 4:30 a.m. An witness said via Twitter that there were "no injuries or arrests."
We reached out to L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore for comment ...
... but had yet to hear back.
Another Twitter user said the LAPD moved in afterward and erected an 8 foot fence around the Leadwell Street property.
Occupiers fed up with big-bank foreclosures, particularly in light of the federal bailout in 2008, upheld Fort Hernandez as a symbol since late August.
They claimed there are more empty homes in the same Van Nuys neighborhood than there are homeless.
In response to the bad press, Bank of America negotiated with the family but ultimately foreclosed.
[Update at 1:44 p.m.]: Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says the department received an order to evict several days ago but that Sheriff Lee Baca, showing "heart," told deputies not to do the deed until after Christmas. Whitmore:
The sheriff said I don't want to do it during Christmas. That's a fact.
Whitmore says the bank offered the Hernandezes $20,000 to leave but that they demanded $100,000, leading to a situation where it appears they were evicted without any payout.
"We want to do everything in our power to help them get a place," he said.
That said, the eviction of 18 people, including four to six family members and 12 or so occupiers, went smoothly, Whitmore said.
The property was "secured" by the bank; if the family and occupiers return, it would be a trespassing and possible breaking-and-entering matter for the LAPD, he said. (The sheriff's department handles eviction orders in L.A. county, but the Hernandez home is on city turf).