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Mi casa es su casa: South Gate woman takes mortgage fight to Wells Fargo executive’s front door

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Ana Casas of South Gate didn’t like the prospect of losing her home of 40 years to bank executives. So she decided to take the fight to their home -- specifically, to the large Spanish-style residence of Wells Fargo CFO Tim Sloan in San Marino.

Casas was arrested there yesterday amid a group 80 to 100 protesters who marched, chanted and waved signs proclaiming “Occupy Wells Fargo!” the Pasadena Sun reports.

Interestingly, she was arrested for violating a San Marino ordinance specifically designed for Sloan, who is no stranger to angry assemblies in front of his house. A protest there in October of last year prompted the city to pass a law prohibiting people from getting closer than 150 feet to a property during “targeted residential picketing.”

Casas, who has cerebral palsy, claimed she had missed payments on her mortgage after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Her husband skipped work to care for her, she said -- but since then they have been able to make payments again.

Even so, Wells Fargo refused to modify her loan and she is now in foreclosure, Casas said.

She arrived on Thursday evening outside Sloan’s house with a check in hand, rolling her motorized wheelchair right up to the bank executive’s front door.

“He took me out of my house, I came to stay at his house,” Casas told reporters. “He has plenty of room, I’ll just bring my family here.”

San Marino police declared an illegal assembly at about 7:45 p.m. and arrested Casas 30 minutes later. She was taken away in an ambulance, according to reports.

According to a report to San Marino council members drafted by the city manager, “On October 5, 2011 a situation occurred in San Marino where a large number of protestors went to the home of a San Marino resident.”

That turned out to be Sloan’s house. “The protesters walked on the landscaping and pounded on the doors and windows of the residence,” the city manager wrote, and in response, the city created a “buffer zone” to protect the targeted residence.

“By establishing a ‘buffer zone’ 150 feet from the dwelling or 75 feet from the curb abutting the property, the ordinance creates a zone of protection for residents from unwanted harassment and intimidation, but does not prevent picketers from disseminating their message to the general public.”

The rule posed a logistical problem on Woodstock Road, however, which is where Sloan lives. To comply with the law, demonstrators would have been forced to picket in front of someone else’s home due to the layout of Sloan’s narrow cul-de-sac, the Sun reports. Police did not strictly enforce the rule, but eventually closed down the protest.

It is not clear whether Casas will face any charges in Thursday’s incident.

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