Nearly 100 personnel from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department carried out an eviction operation Thursday morning at a foreclosed Van Nuys home that became a rallying point for protesters.
The home on Leadwell Street, near Cedros Avenue, was at the center of a long-running neighborhood dispute. In 2007, Javier Hernandez bought the home, but his payments stopped after his adjustable rate increased.
The home became a make-shift fortress that included a sign that read, "Save Our Community, Stop Foreclosures." A group of Occupy LA protesters had been living at the home in protest of the homeowners' eviction for nearly two months, according to the sheriff's department.
No injuries or arrests were reported during Thursday's court-ordered eviction operation. Five dogs and 18 Occupy LA protesters were removed from the residence after Los Angeles Police Department units and LA County Sheriff's Department personnel – equipped with armored vehicles – secured a perimeter in the neighborhood.
"There was a group of Occupy LA individuals here, but this went as smooth as silk. Everybody cooperated," said department spokesman Steve Whitmore. "They have every right to do that, but all these neighbors were saying: 'Please, do something about this.'"
"Something had to be done, it was done, and it was done with a high regard for the people involved," Whitmore said.
Bank of America said it tried to work with Hernandez, but said he did not submit paperwork in time. Hernandez’s attorney showed NBC LA stacks of papers from just the last few months showing an effort to start payments again, but the bank said it wasn’t enough to qualify for a loan modification.
The bank is expected to take control of the property. Hernandez said his only hope is to fight the bank in court.