NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A man embroiled in an ongoing property claim dispute for allegedly squatting in a Queens home was arrested Tuesday.
Jennifer Merin said she called police when she first learned someone had taken over her vacant family home in Laurelton, but was told she had to take the matter to housing court, where she said she obtained an eviction notice that has been appealed.READ MORE: Fire Destroys Carteret, New Jersey Apartment Complex; Dozens Displaced
The housing court case pits Darrell Beatty against Merin, who says the home has been part of her family since the 1930s, CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported.
Beatty now faces seven counts of allegedly laying false claim to the home that he moved into earlier this year.
“This is something that I have called ‘estate rape,’” Merin said.
“Where’s the proof?” Beatty said in handcuffs Tuesday.
Even as he was being taken away by the New York City sheriff, Beatty maintained his innocence while Merin couldn’t believe her eyes.
“I heard the words ‘you’re under arrest’ and just wanted to thank God,” she said.
Because of the arrest, the matter of trying to remove Beatty from the home has been put on hold due to the fact that he will be unable to complete his housing court appearance.READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Urges Private Companies To Require COVID Vaccines For Employees
As Langford reported, it could be at least three weeks until the next court date.
“Obviously it doesn’t get me my house back, it doesn’t get me any of my belongings back, but at least it gives me a sense of that there is some kind of righteousness here,” Merin said.
The Office of the City Register’s website shows two deeds for the home– one by Merin on behalf of her late grandparents and the other deed filed by Beatty.
On Monday, Beatty told CBS 2 on Monday that he knows nothing about it.
“In this case, it seems to have happened, it does seems to have happened,” Merin’s attorney James West said.
Beatty is set to be arraigned in Queens criminal court Tuesday evening.
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