COLORADO CITY, Ariz. – A Colorado City man was cited for trespassing after he attempted to move into a vacant house that he said was built by his father but was owned by the financial arm of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Andrew Chatwin said another family lived in the house until early June. Chatwin said he had moved in some dishes, clothing and furniture when police arrived Sunday evening and told him he was trespassing.
”My father built the house and it was taken from him,” Chatwin said. ”Dozens of people have been moving around, yet when I do it, I am told I am trespassing.”
Chatwin said he was asked to prove ownership of the house, but said no one else has been asked for proof of ownership of homes they have moved into during a recent reshuffling of families and homes in the community.
After he was told he was trespassing, Chatwin’s possessions were removed from the house, he said.
About a dozen people showed up and began stripping the home of carpet, windows and doors. Some even removed walls, he said.
Around midnight, trucks from the Colorado City Landfill Corporation arrived to empty trash bins on the property, he said.
Monday morning, workers began reassembling the house, he said.
Monday afternoon, private investigator Sam Brower arrived to document what had been done at the home. Brower has been hired by several groups involved in lawsuits against the church.
He also has been hired by Jeffrey Shields, an attorney representing the court-appointed special fiduciary overseeing church assets, to document any activity involving UEP property.
Brower said he initially had difficulty gaining access to the home located on Richards Street, but was finally allowed to enter after he cited the court order.
He said the man who blocked his entrance refused to give his name, but said it was not against the court order to improve the property.