Alleged Squatters Leave Midtown Home

Residents say they were squatters and stayed just feet from some of South Florida most trendy restaurants and cafes

By Willard Shepard
|  Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013  |  Updated 9:26 PM EDT
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Police were in full force Tuesday at 210 NE 44th St. as a man, several women and children all were seen exiting the home carrying their belongings. Midtown Miami resident Carlos Carrillo and Miami Police Commander Manuel Morals spoke about the case.

Police were in full force Tuesday at 210 NE 44th St. as a man, several women and children all were seen exiting the home carrying their belongings. Midtown Miami resident Carlos Carrillo and Miami Police Commander Manuel Morals spoke about the case.

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Squatters in Midtown Miami Home, Neighbors Say

Midtown residents Tom Joule and Carlos Carrillo spoke about the people they said are squatting at 210 NE 44th St. A man who was in front of the home Monday told NBC 6 South Florida that he spoke to the owner of the property, and police, but he didn't have anything to say about how he ended up there. Tax records show the home in Midtown is owned by Dr. Smith Joseph, who is running to be the next mayor of North Miami. He could not be found for comment at his medical practice or campaign office. Real estate attorney Ben Solomon discussed adverse possession and squatters.

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Regardless of how the alleged squatters found a home in up-and-coming Midtown, police were in full force Tuesday as a man, several women and children all were seen exiting the home carrying their belongings. Their monthlong stay at 210 NE 44th St. apparently over for good.

Residents say they were squatters and stayed just feet from some of South Florida's most trendy restaurants and cafes. NBC 6 was the first to bring the problem to light.

"I like the rest of my neighborhood are actually very relieved to hear they will be leaving the neighborhood," said Midtown Miami resident Carlos Carrillo. " I think it goes to the credit of the power and what you are able to do when you get your neighbors together an you guys fight for a common cause. in this case its make sure our neighborhood stays safe."

Tuesday afternoon the man residents say put his family in the home did not want to provide any details to NBC 6.

When NBC 6 first approached the man Monday, he didn't want to say if he had signed a form in an effort to obtain the property through Florida's adverse possession law, or say how he ended up at the home.

Commander Manuel Morals of the Miami Police Department said Tuesday, "It's
an incident that's becoming a lot more common in our area dealing with situations where we have a property owner who claims he gave no authority for individuals who have taken possession of their property. A common case of what what we'll call squatters."

Home video shot by one resident showed an altercation where the resident called 911 when he was concerned a verbal disagreement with one of the alleged squatters may get out of hand.

The neighbor can be heard on the video telling 911, "The guy ripped off his shirt and someone is going to get hit . Please get someone out here."

NBC 6 went looking for the man tax records indicate owns the property, North Miami doctor Smith Joseph. He is running for mayor, and NBC 6 spoke to a woman at his campaign office and called him several times but never heard back.

The tax appraiser said: "The Office of the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser has not received an adverse possession claim form for the property you have requested."

What remains a mystery here is just what police were looking at when they came here over the last month for calls of loud noise, concerns of violence. Because even on Tuesday, police did not eject or remove the family. They left voluntarily and called a city homeless program to help them.

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