DETROIT (WXYZ) - A local man is pleading for help. He broke his hip and is almost healed enough to go home. Only he says, while he was recovering, squatters took over his house.
Arnold De'Angelis grew up in the house – live there more than 60 years. But he says while he was away recovering, squatters turned his childhood home into a place for drug users and prostitution.
He says he wants them out. So, what happened when i knocked on the door?
It's been a long road to recovery for the 62-year-old.
In January 2013 he slipped on some ice outside his Detroit home and broke his hip. An infection led to several surgeries and more than a year in a rehab facility.
Now that he is better De'Angelis is worried about what he faces if he goes home.
"Afraid to go in there because of the people he had to deal with,” he says. “I think they sell a lot of drugs and prostitution.”
De'Angelis says while he was recovering he asked a friend to watch his house and that's how he discovered, others were living in it - some of his belongings had been stolen and the new residents weren't so easy to get out.
"I talked to a lawyer and he told me to just leave. So, I would be homeless, and these homeless people could just move in,” he says. "I have the deed, I own the home. They’re squatters.”
He says he has no idea who the people are.
De'Angelis says he's called police and was told he would need to go through the court process to have the squatters evicted. We stopped by to see what was going on.
A woman who answered the door said she was Arnold’s girlfriend.
This was getting confusing, so we got Arnold on the phone.
That's when Arnold says he met the lady at his house thru a friend – once.
While she claims he asked her watch his house while he recovered-- he says, no, and wants her and everyone else out.
“I just don’t think its right and that’s why I’m doing something about it,” he says.
It’s not just Arnold who wants these people out – it’s also the neighbors.
This is a nice neighborhood. They take care of their properties, you have kids playing. They do not want the drug dealing; they do not want the prostitution going on.
Arnold says one reason he couldn't evict the people because he didn't have a name.
We got hers--ran it thru the system. She does have a prior criminal record.