Five District of Columbia residents who took over a 13th Street NW apartment building Friday afternoon to protest what they say is real estate speculation were arrested yesterday morning by D.C. police and charged with unlawful entry.
Capt. Horatius W. Wilson, of the 3rd District police division, said the arrest was "peaceful." He said that the owners of the five-unit apartment building at 2542 13th St. NW. Edward Sean O'Neil and David B. Morgan, signed a complaint against the squatters on Friday, but requested that they be arrested yesterday.
The Columbia Heights Community Ownership Project, a self-described neighborhood land trust dedicated to halting real estate speculation in D.C., organized Friday's takeover. Patricia Perkins, of the project, said yesterday tht the members were meeting to plan their next step.
Pekins said that bail was set at $500 for each of the five persons. The owners removed the furniture that the squatters had brought in on Friday, she said.
Morgan said yesterday that demonstrators marched, holding a banner, in front of his home on 17th Street NW yesterday. He said he and O'Neill have offered to relocate and tenants remaining on 13th Street, but they have declined the offer.
The organization held a festive rally and takeover ceremony Friday in support of tenants who want to remain at 2542 13th ST. NW.
The Columbia Heights organization offered last month to buy the building from O'Neill and Morgan for the $50,000 price they had paid for it in March, but the owners said they weren't interested in selling the property to anyone and declined the offer. Notices to vacate were sent to the tenants.