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.

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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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