• Deputy doesn't evict disabled man; Family says it was act of mercy

    By: Joanna Small

    Updated:

    KING COUNTY,Wash. - A King County sheriff's deputy took pity on a disabled veteran, and despite a court order, refused to evict him.  

    The Bartons lost their West Seattle home to foreclosure, and it was sold at auction in April.

    "The detective showed up here to remove us from the property,” Jean Barton said today.  That was last Thursday; today the Bartons still live there.

    "When he saw how disabled he was he said 'Oh I'm not going to throw you out on the streets, this is ridiculous. They didn't tell me he was this disabled,’” Jean told us.

    She said it was an act of mercy.  Jean believes because of Byron Barton's condition the deputy gave them more time to try to get their eviction stopped, even-- Jean says--arguing on the phone with the company that purchased the house at auction.

    "I could hear her through the phone screaming at him, ‘You throw them off the property, it's your job.’  He says 'ma’am I do hundreds of these a week, I know what my job is and I know right from wrong and this is wrong,’” Jean remembered.

    She says another sheriff's office employee returned the next day and said the same thing.  Today the community rallied to support the Bartons.

    "Together we will fight.  We will fight the good fight, and we're not going away,” one community member, Chettie McAfee, told the group.

    We asked the King County Sheriff's Office why the Bartons got a break.  A spokesperson told us she's not sure yet but that an eviction is a court order, not a recommendation.  Jean Barton said the deputy didn't seem to see it that way.

    "’I've never had one where I come in and somebody is in a hospital bed, he says.  It's immoral,’” she said of the conversation she had with the deputy.

    The Bartons say the deputy gave them at least another week to get the eviction stopped or move out.

    We spoke to the attorney for Triangle Property Development, the company that purchased the Barton’s house.  She said her clients asked her to release this statement:

    “This is an unfortunate situation for all parties involved. My client, Triangle Property Development, was not involved in any part of the foreclosure process before the sale. The home was purchased at a King County Trustee’s Sale on April 11, 2014.  My client is now the legal owner of the property and is entitled to possession.  After making several attempts to resolve this matter amicably, which included offers of assistance, we were forced to seek relief from the court.  Litigation is ongoing in this matter and we have no further comment at this time. Thank you.”

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