A man from DeKalb County, Georgia, claimed squatters broke into his home in February 2023 and haven’t left since then. Due to the delay in the court proceedings, he hasn’t been able to step foot into his own residence.
Justin Gray, a consumer investigator, discovered there was an eviction order in place, but the homeowner is still waiting on the DeKalb marshals’ schedule to be able to actually evict the squatters.
Since this legal battle ensued, two people have died in the residence due to overdoses. Law enforcement blamed the homeowner for failing to maintain the house, but there’s just one problem — he can’t legally access the place to keep up with the maintenance.
Trouble started for Tim Arko a few days after his tenants moved out of his East Lake rental home. He realized someone had broken into his home and when he pulled into the driveway, someone confronted him with a gun.
“I just jumped the fence and ran. I didn’t know what else to do,” Arko said.
This armed encounter occurred in February and six months later, the squatters are still living in Arko’s home. “I didn’t walk in on a family eating dinner. I walked in on weapons, a prostitute, a bunch of dogs in the back, my fence broken down,” Arko said.
After he called for the police, Arko was the one they took into custody. The squatters remained in the residence for another six months. “They told the police that I was a home invader and that it was their home. And so I ended up being arrested and detained,” Arko said.
Arko has been engaging in a long legal battle to evict the squatters and the papers are now officially signed. He’s waiting on the marshals to carry out the order.
“No one likes, you know, being in the court system, but it becomes even worse when it seems broken down,” said John Ernst, Arko’s attorney.
Arko was never charged with a crime once he proved to the police that he was the homeowner. Even though the place is under his name, it wasn’t an easy task to get his hands on the eviction notice. He will have to wait until the beginning of September to have his place free of the squatters.