Military Bikers Help Soldier Reclaim Old House
Squatters had taken over his Florida property
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2014 5:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – A soldier stationed in Hawaii got quite the surprise when told he could move back home to Florida with his wife: Squatters had moved into his house, and refused to leave. What's more, they were ex-convicts with 14 years of prison time between them. "They are criminals," says the soldier, Michael Sharkey, who was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago and then stationed in Hawaii. But a Florida real estate law prevented him from reclaiming his house because the squatters had established residency. "I am serving my country, and they have more rights to my home than I do," he says.

The squatters, Julio Ortiz and Fatima Cardosa, say they made a verbal agreement with a friend of Sharkey's who was taking care of the property, Opposing Views reports. But Sharkey and his friend deny any agreement took place. So a pair of veterans groups enlisted an attorney to process their eviction for free, WFLA reports, and a group of military veteran bikers said they would visit Sharkey's house to "peacefully make the squatters uncomfortable." Now under pressure, the squatters are packing and moving out. The Daily Mail lists their criminal convictions—including robbery, carjacking, and selling drugs on school property. (Another story that may infuriate you: A driver who struck and killed a teen boy is now suing him for emotional distress.)

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Apr 26, 2014 8:18 PM CDT
This fascinating story will be an encouragment for those who have suffered rejection, abuse, and
Apr 26, 2014 2:36 PM CDT
I wonder why we still allow squatters to do this? Laws need to changed. It's good that these bikers are good samaritans and did what the government should have done.
Arthur Vandelay
Apr 26, 2014 10:34 AM CDT
squatters are everywhere. My dad's dream was to build a house in Ioannina Greece where he was born and retire there. He worked hard saved and build his dream home. He gave the key to his brother to look after the property. Greece has squatters rights and so his brother registered and the house became his. I hired a Greek lawyer who did not do anything other than cash my checks. My uncles kids inherited my father's house I cannot even go inside and look cause Greek law hates Greek Americans .The lawyer was recommended by the Greek consul in Houston Texas.