Squatters take over elderly woman's home in D.C.

(WJLA) - Elizabeth Hutcheson, 86, is a retired federal worker and doesn’t know too much about rent costs. She knew nothing about the 30-something-year-old man who approached her at a Safeway and offered to help her home with her groceries last October.

"I told him I'd charge him $15," she says.

But that man ended up moving into her home with a woman and then a dog.

"Him and the young lady, they just stayed up in the room and then I noticed they started eating my food," explains Hutcheson.

Hutcheson’s part-time home healthcare aide thought it was strange, but didn’t know what to do:

"I thought the man was her son and she told me they were strangers, she met him at the Safeway."

Hutcheson says she became frightened, but since she has no family locally, she asked them to leave, but they refused. Neighbors took the matter to court, but the squatters argued that it was a landlord-tenant case – though not so according to the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission:

"Because they don't have a lease agreement, they don't have any rent receipt. She doesnt want them here, and furthermore, she's afraid," says Kathy Henderson.

Even so, a judge gave them until Friday to bring evidence. Henderson says she visited last night, and the couple and the dog weren’t in:

"I called a few neighbors just in case the invaders were to come back and you know, become belligerent. And we changed the locks."

"I feel good, [it's the] first night I've had a full night's sleep," says Hutcheson.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off