Some Texarkana residents are hoping their year-long neighborhood nightmare is nearing an end.
We first shared the story of residents on Senator Street earlier this month. They said they’d been struggling to remove squatters from their property, but they said our story has brought them some much-needed help.
For about a week and a half, Cornelius Rosevelt Pickens has been working on demolishing the buildings across the street from his house.
“We had been slowly chipping away at it,” said Pickens.
Neighbors have been pitching in to help the disabled veteran.
“We mostly torn them down with hammers, crowbars, and that’s how we razed everything at least from the buildings,” said Pickens.
Pickens owns the property and he said he rented out the storage sheds to be used as a motorcycle repair shop. But instead, the property was used for something else entirely.
“I didn’t know people were gonna be living here because I don’t know how they could live like that,” said Pickens.
Squatters lived on the site without utilities for nearly a year. Pickens reached out to everyone he could think of for help evicting the people from his property, and recently an officer with the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department reached out to him to help.
“He saw the story and he let me know that he was a veteran,that he was going to help me try to get rid and he did get rid of the homeless peoples here,” said Pickens.
“Sgt. Chattaway has been with us for a long time and he always goes above and beyond for the community,” said Sgt. Kristi Bennett with TAPD. “There are so many great residents that live in this area and they want their property clean because if you have a property that is continuously run down or it has..the criminal element is gonna establish itself where available.”
And these residents said they’re thankful to finally get their neighborhood back to normal.
“It’s a lot quieter and a lot less traffic and a lot less illegal things going on in the community,” said Pickens. “And we’re blessed for that.”
Pickens said that after going through this experience of trying to evict the squatters from his property, he wants to reach out to lawmakers to lobby for new laws protecting the rights of property owners.