May 7, 2010

Police Arrest Keith Sadler and Toledo Foreclosure Defense League Supporters

Left: still of arrest from video inside house

The Wood County Sheriff sent the S.W.A.T team at approximately 6:30 am this morning to arrest the barricaded Keith Sadler at his foreclosed home in Stony Ridge. Local news media outlets have not yet reported on the situation, but Keith's cameras recorded the first minutes of the arrests before a deputy shut off the camera.

Update 7:55 am: WTOL just reported that "several supporters" had been arrested, but that Keith Sadler is still in the house. The reporter on the scene said that the group used PVC piping to link themselves together.

And to the person who emailed me: no, I will not be driving out there this morning.

Update 9:10 am: Keith and the supporters in the house have been arrested and transported to the Wood County Jail. Initial reports said that no one outside the house was arrested, but WNWO is reporting that protesters outside were also arrested.

Update 9:48 am: WTOL is reporting that Keith and the other arrested supported will be arraigned via video in Perrysburg Municipal Court later today (no time announced). No word yet on the exact charges that will be filed, and at this point WNWO is the only media outlet reporting that the people arrested includes protesters outside the home.

Update 9:58 am: WTVG reports the total number of arrested people at six, which would match the number or protesters originally barricaded in the house.

Update 10:11 am: The Toledo Blade has an interesting photo of Keith Sadler being carried out of the house:

Left: photo of the arrest of Keith Sadler courtesy of Toledo Blade/Dave Zapotosky

In the picture Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is marching in front of the officers carrying the shackled Sadler out of the house. I suspect that this image will not hurt the sheriff among law-and-order voters in his reelection efforts this fall.

Update 11:25 am: The Toledo Blade is now reporting that seven people have been arrested, which indicates that at least one outside protester was also jailed with Keith and the supporters inside the house. Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said that the seven people face misdemeanor charges of obstructing justice and trespassing. The Blade said that they would appear in Perrysburg Municipal Court after 1:30 pm, but one of the commenters on the UStream site said that at least one of the arrested protesters is already in court.

Update 11:37 am: One of the commenters at the UStream site said that police would not allow activist Wesley Flowers to retrieve his shoes, and that he had to hitchhike barefoot to the Wood County Jail for the followup protest. The commenter indicated that Flowers was also stopped by sheriff's deputies while hitchhiking, but that he was not arrested.

Update 12:18 pm: Jan Larson of the BG Sentinel-Tribune has by far the best coverage to date of the arrest of Keith Sadler and the TFDL activists. The reporter took the time to talk with quite a few people on both sides, and the report is quite balanced. Larson also noted that Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn originally planned to raid the house next week, thinking that media attention would die down, but that plans by the activists to set up for events attracting large groups prompted him to commence the raid this morning. Lots interesting quotes and observations - recommended reading.

Update 12:28 pm: A commenter on the Ustream site indicated that there will be a "Solidarity Rally" at 1:00 pm for Keith Sadler and the arrested supporters at the Wood County Jail, which is located at 1690 E. Gypsy Lane in Bowling Green, OH.

Update 12:39 pm: Commenters on the UStream site indicated that the potluck dinner is still on for tonight, but that it has been relocated to the United Christian Fellowship in Bowling Green, OH, which is located at 313 Thurston St.

Update: 2:03 pm: Commenters on the UStream site who have been in phone contact with the arrested protesters think that the court will decide by 2:30 pm whether or not to free the jailed activists. The speculation is that the sheriff will press to keep them jailed at least for the weekend to reduce the likelihood that they will engage in another act of civil disobedience. Of course, others might view this as a ploy to stifle free speech, as there are plans for a gathering tonight in Bowling Green.

Update 2:19 pm: The court will release the arrested protesters today, according to Lance Crandall, media spokesperson for the Toledo Foreclosure Defense League. Good news for freedom of speech, though I think that the group members ought to tread carefully in Wood County the next few days. Just sayin'...

Update 2:33 pm: Reminder - the planned potluck dinner has been relocated to the United Christian Fellowship Community Center in Bowling Green, OH, which is located at 313 Thurston St. Do NOT go to the foreclosed home on Fremont Pike, as you will likely face arrest for trespassing. Be forewarned, folks.

Update 3:03 pm: All defendants were released their own recognizance instead of being forced to post bail, which indicates that the sheriff and prosecutors likely do not want jailed martyrs on their hands. Pretrial hearings for the arrested activists have not yet been scheduled.

Update 5:25 pm: Passing along an email from a friend of Keith who is disturbed by the misconceptions about Keith and his protest:

Keith Sadler is a friend of mine, a committed activist and a good union brother in the UAW. He and his fellow squatters knew how this house occupation would end, but I don't think he realized how many lies would be told about him in the news media.

Lie #1: Keith is a freeloader. Not true, he did not ask to get the house for free but negotiated with the bank to change the terms of his mortgage loan to reflect his diminished financial circumstances. After four months in arrears, the bank foreclosed on his mortgage. Keith has paid about $40 thousand dollars on this house, which sold at auction for $33 thousand. To all you numb skulls who say that Keith is a freeloader, consider this: Keith is getting free room and board in jail. So, if you can't stand that idea, call the Wood County Jail at 419-354-7744 and ask that Freeloader Keith be put on the streets again. Keith is not a freeloader, he took the best job he could find with his disability, which was working for the US Census.

Lie #2: Keith hasn't made a house payment in two years (I hear this on every news cast for all the TV news stations). If a bank forecloses on your house, are you going to keep sending them money? No rational person would do so. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of homes in the Toledo area where homeowners have simply stopped paying their mortgages because the bank will not work with them and have begun foreclosure proceedings. The fact is you can subtract 5 months from this so-called two years of non-payment because the Keith was supposed to be evicted in January. Even so, after five months the bank can only find a Xerox copy of Keith's mortgage. How would you like to be evicted by a Xerox copy? I guess a Xerox copy is all you need to evict somebody or you can also BUY a tax lien from the State for pennies and then evict somebody from their home even though you are not a State....this is incredible stuff happening. Pay attention people.

Lie #3: Keith broke a sacred contract (didn't keep his word) by frivolously not paying his house note (probably took a vacation to see the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, right, rightwingers?) Well in the Auto Industry, the bosses always reopen UAW our labor contract whenever their "competitive situation" deteriorates. Likewise the city of Toledo is in financial straights and wants to take concessions from the city workers, firefighters and cops. Are these not examples of breaking a sacred contract? Oh, but those banksters at Bank of American, JP MorganChase and other wall street monsters have to get their bonuses, don't they? Because that's a sacred contract.

Why can't banks accept that people are in worse situations when they injured, sick, or laid off from a depressed economy that was spun into the gutter by super-sized banks that gambled with money their depositors trusted them with?

Keith did this occupation in the hope of publicizing the need for a moratorium on home foreclosures. This is not a radical idea that Keith cooked up in his head. The governor of Michigan has also called for this generalized emergency moratorium.

George Windau, friend of Keith and member UAW Local 12

More updates as news becomes available.


Anonymous said...

I'll bet your commie hero looks good in prison orange, Mikey, and he's about to get ass raped by his new prison pals!!!!

historymike said...

Way to keep it classy, you sick Anonymous moron. You know, you would probably better help your cause by engaging in intelligent discussion rather than homoerotic prison fantasies.

Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

First off, Commie? Who said anything about commie? This was a hard working UAW Auto Worker who fell on hard times.. and tried to work things out with the bank but the bank refused and refused to return his calls. This is happening to thousands of not a million people in this country and it's a shame that we continue to allow banks to exploit these situations and profit on other peoples misery.

samuel adams said...

lol, Mikey calls himself a "journalist," how's this for blatant bias:

"In the picture Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is marching in front of the officers carrying the shackled Sadler out of the house. I suspect that this image will not hurt the sheriff among law-and-order voters in his reelection efforts this fall."

You are a transparent waterboy for your commie pals, Mikey!!!

historymike said...

"Samuel Adams":

Are you that dense that you do not realize this is a personal blog? Obviously my opinions and thoughts are going to be evident here. When I write for local and national media outlets as a reporter, I check my opinions and agendas at the door, but I write whatever the hell I want to on my own blog.

One of the reasons I decided to blog this was indeed because I know Keith personally, meaning that I would not have to deal with accusations that I let personal connections interfere with my writing if I chose to pitch this to a media outlet as straight reporting.

Anonymous said...

The cops should arrest irresponsible idiots like "Dr." Michael Brooks for fomenting domestic disorder!!!!

Anonymous said...

And you teach at BG, so the cops can stroll right over and collect you treasonous ass!!!!!!!! hahahaha!!!!!

historymike said...

LOL - out come the loons.

A few quick thoughts, though I suspect addressing the idiot trolls will only embolden them more:

1. No, I am not a medical doctor, just a schlep with a PhD. However, I earned it through hard work, something I would hope that most people respect, even if they disagree with something I write.

2. There is something disturbing in this stated desire to arrest large groups of people, including bloggers who write about what they see and think. Do you really want to live in such a police state, or do you just want to live in a country where everyone agrees with you, Anonymous?

3. Since when is writing about a protest "fomenting domestic disorder" or "treasonous," Anonymous? Do you also want to see arrested the members of the rest of the media who reported on the story?

ProfessorSeal said...

"Dr." Brooks,

This is "Dr." Seelye. What do you expect from a pig but a grunt - these anonymous pricks do not even have the onions to leave their names.

Mad Jack said...

1. No, I am not a medical doctor,

I'm an amateur proctologist with a stainless steel all-in-one tool that I'm about to insert into your fundament, you bull dyke fearing door knob sucking limp wristed triple-K wanna-be.

Lord, what a bunch of neurotic imbeciles.

Note that the local yo-yos waited until Friday to bust 'em so that they'd be more likely to spend the weekend in the hoosegow.

From all accounts it sounds like the lender refused to speak to Keith at all, which makes me wonder how much the house was worth vs. the amount Keith owed on it.

historymike said...

It's an older house, Jack, and it could use a roof and vinyl replacement windows. Still it is worth a heckuva lot more than the sweetheart deal of $33,000 the bank bought it for at the sheriff's auction. Just for the sake of the very large lot alone means the place is easily worth $70K or more, even in its average physical condition (setting aside cosmetic work and stuff like broken windows and kicked-in doors).

The last tax appraisal was something like $94K.

historymike said...

Dr. Seal:

You are correct - many people cower behind anonymity and act tough.

BTW - great WIngs game last night! Could we be witnessing an epic return from a 3-0 deficit? If they steal a win in San Jose this weekend, I like their chances.

Molly said...

"Still it is worth a heckuva lot more than the sweetheart deal of $33,000 the bank bought it for at the sheriff's auction."
And we all know that when the market rebounds, someone's going to making piles of money off these houses, too.
What's solved by this? Oh right, all of the "the rules are the rules" "commie-" haters will cheer and high five and sleep much better tonight knowing this man was drug out of his home by a law enforcement. The rest of us might wonder how the hell it comes to this. And one more home sits empty. (There's one on every mile out here.)

Thanks for following the story, Mike. Saw he'd been arrested via Blade FB feed on my phone at work and wished I had access to your blog to hear more.

microdot said...

This is making waves all over America. I read about it on the internet here in France.
So, you get a few anonymous incoherent screeds of hate? So what?
You did the good thing by posting this. Keith Sadler's message is tht it is more productive and positive for America to keep people in their homes and work beyond the mechanical enforcement of the corrupt fiancial practices that put them in the ssituation of being forecloed.

Thank you Mike for posting this.
I wish a miracle for Keith and miracles do really still happen!

microdot said...

One more thing. There have been a number of foreclosures where my siser and brother in law live in Toledo.
It's a pretty nice neighborhood, but now it looks pretty seedy and they have had to put up with some very scary new neighbors.
One of the homes was a family home and then became a center of drug dealing after it was foreclosed, resold and rented out.
Un restrained greed...that is how things fall apart.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello History Mike,
It saddens me to read the reactions at the beginning of this posting and you do not deserve this. I would venture a guess that these people are the not very bright Teabagger supporters.

Please allow me to pass on true and accurate situations here in the Mid-Atlantic.

The Electrical Engineering Consulting Firm that I worked for. I and other engineers were laid off back in Octobers and there is no one hiring. (I work in both Electrical and Mechanical Engineering disciplines) Where I am of the age and wealth to be able to ride this downturn, my younger fellow coworkers are not. Examples below.

A co-worker who was a graduate of University of Michigan in Mechanical Engineering and is now 51 years old. He has a wife and a 13 year old son. Where his wife is taking care of her dying mother and this person has to withdraw from his 401K (with large tax penalties). With his very scaled down living standards, un-employment payments and this withdraw from his retirement funds, is how he is keep the house payment, electric, heating, etc bills keeping a home and roof over their heads. A very responsible person who has worked his whole life being a good father and husband, is now just barely and will at some point and time will loose his home when either un-employment or retirement run out.

Another co-worker who was a graduate of University of Maryland in Mechanical Engineering and is now 37 years old. He has a wife and a little girl about 2 ½ years old. His wife works at a bank but his retirement is very little, and the un-employment payments with all being totaled, are not paying the house payment. Again a very responsible person (who watched Fox and voted the conservative Republican political ticket) is now see another side of his viewpoints and realizes how Teabaggers are not all that brilliant nor correct. He has been forced into a financial situation and is just on the verge to not be making the house payments which will lead to foreclosure proceedings.

Both of these men who have been responsible, hard working their whole lives, living the middle class dream, are now about to loose everything from no fault of their own. They may never recover financially enough to live a comfortable retirement.

I am with Microdot in passing on Kudos for this posting. You have given me a chance to put a real people face on this current financial situation that is harming families across this country of hard working, educated, people trying to provide a house and home.

It also brings out the “Nut Jobs” exposing these people for what they really are. Dull Dimwitted who swallow spoonfuls of propaganda hate based on nihilistic facts and viewpoints. I would venture a guess that those commenting at the beginning of this posting barely had obtained a High School education and just pushed through at that with minimal standards.