After a brief reprieve from an eviction, the King County Sheriff’s Office is trying to remove a disabled Vietnam veteran and his family from their West Seattle home, but this time, activists staged what they called an “eviction blockade” and news conference outside the home.
Activists from the organization Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction stood on the porch and chanted when a deputy arrived to serve the court-ordered eviction notice to Jean and Byron Barton again on Friday.
Medics arrived and carried Byron Barton, who cannot walk, to the ambulance to be transported to the VA hospital, but protesters lined up underneath it, lying down. Seattle police then arrived, along with multiple deputies who worked to remove protesters from the yard and away from the ambulance.
Byron Barton told KIRO 7 he wants to stay at the home and is being forced out against his will. After Barton was loaded into the ambulance, he was taken back out and placed outside. But by then, the locks on his house have been changed and his family has nowhere to go.
The protest is continuing.
The Bartons have lost their home to foreclosure and a deputy arrived last month to evict the family.
But the Bartons said when the deputy went inside the house, what he saw made him change his mind.
"When he saw how disabled he was he said 'Oh, I'm not going to throw you out on the streets, this is ridiculous, they didn't tell me he was this disabled,'" said Jean Barton.
Jean Barton said it was an act of mercy.
She said because of Byron Barton's condition, the deputy gave them more time to try to get their eviction stopped, even arguing on the phone with the company that purchased the house at auction.
Byron Barton is spending his life in a wheelchair or a hospital bed. His wife, Jean, works for Mary's Place, a homeless services agency in Seattle. They have two teenagers, Brandon and Bryan.
The Bartons said the deputy gave them at least another week to get the eviction stopped or move out.
On Friday, another deputy returned, but this time, faced with protesters and a news conference including City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
When KIRO 7 contacted Triangle Property Management about the incident last month, it said it made several attempts to resolve the matter amicably, which included offers of assistance, but were forced to seek relief from the court.