Fla. deputies attempt eviction at wrong houseAugust 3, 2022
By Juan Carlos Chavez
Tampa Bay Times
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Imagine you’re peacefully sharing a summer afternoon with your family when, suddenly, you get a notification from your Ring home security camera. Two Pasco deputies and a third person are standing on your doorstep trying to evict you.
Is it a prank?
That’s what Jennifer Michele of Land O’ Lakes wondered. Michele, 39, was 15 minutes from home visiting her mother on Thursday when she had to explain remotely through a camera that her property did not have an eviction order.
“I was freaking out the whole time,” said Michele, who works as a disability case manager at a human resources services company. “How is it possible?”
Michele shared the footage Friday on her TikTok account, @jennifermichele82. In a matter of hours, the video went viral on the social platform, something Michele never planned.
“It was starting to go crazy,” she said.
When she decided to post it, Michele thought no one would be interested. By Sunday, the TikTok had more than 5 million views.
“It was a complete surprise,” she said.
The doorbell video shows the deputies and a rental representative from Invitation Homes in front of her house. She asks what they’re doing. One of the deputies says they’re trying to serve an eviction notice.
“What eviction?” Michele asks.
“It was posted a week ago,” the deputy replies.
Seconds later, the deputies realize the mistake and confirm it’s their fault after Michele gives her last name.
“We have the wrong house,” says a deputy after he checks the house number. “It was the next door neighbors.”
Michele said she was in shock and angry. She has lived in the same home almost 13 years without any incident. She owns the house and has plenty of cameras installed because she and her husband like to check their home day or night and from any location.
“I am not familiar with the eviction process,” said Michele. “How is it possible that three people didn’t have the right address?”
Pasco Sheriffs Office’s spokesperson Amanda Hunter said the agency was aware of the situation and reviewing the incident.
“The deputies worked with the resident when the mistake was discovered to resolve the issue,” Hunter told the Tampa Bay Times.
“I was worried about my three dogs who were home alone when this all happened,” Michele said. “They were just a little scared and were in their crate barking the whole time.”
The deputies eventually found the home they were looking for and apologized to Michele. However, they had already pried off her door lock.
“Happily, they fixed it right away,” Michele said. The deputies bought a barbecue lunch for her family, even when she told them it was not necessary.
“I’m not angry anymore because I understand that people make mistakes,” said Michele. “But I’m very grateful that I have that Ring device because I was able to catch the situation.”