A squatter who commandeered and rented out rooms in a woman’s $1 million house in Queens, New York pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges Thursday about a month after the homeowner was arrested for trying to change the locks to oust the intruders. 

On Feb. 29, Brian Rodriguez forced his way back into Adele Andaloro’s home after she had changed the locks, pushing his way into the house as she tried to hold the door closed, according to the Queens District Attorney. 

When he claimed that he was a legal tenant and Andaloro was trying to legally evict him, police had no choice but to remove Andaloro from the property – in New York, it’s against the law to turn off the utilities, change the locks, and remove the belongings of someone who claims to be a tenant.

“I may end up in handcuffs today if a man shows up here and says I have illegally evicted him,” Andaloro told ABC 7. “I said ‘let him take me to court as I’ve been told to take him to court’ because today I’m not leaving my house.”

NYC HOMEOWNER ARRESTED AFTER STANDOFF WITH SQUATTERS SHE SAYS ILLEGALLY TOOK OVER HER $1 MILLION PROPERTY

She took her case to the Queens District Attorney, the office said in their release, where an investigation was launched. A warrant was issued for Rodriguez’s arrest, and he pleaded not guilty to a five-count indictment on Thursday. 

Rodriguez, 35, faces charges of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, second-degree criminal trespass and fourth-degree criminal mischief, the office wrote. 

His attorney Jerald Levine said his client’s tires had been slashed and his mother had developed heart problems as a result of the press coverage surrounding the case, the New York Post reported. He said that Rodriguez worked for a company that helped the indigent, but said he couldn’t name the company in public. 

SQUATTERS BURNED NEW YORK HOME WHILE WREAKING HAVOC ON ‘HARDWORKING FAMILIES,” OFFICIALS SAY

Flushing Queens streets

“The press is responsible!” Levine shouted, according to the Post. “I respectfully asked that he’d be [released on his recognizance], which is what I was told it would be before, until the press came in and whoop-whooped up the whole big to do!”

On Friday, Levine told Fox News Digital that Rodriguez is innocent: 

“Everything is on the record – all I can tell you is he’s not guilty,” Levine said via phone. “I’m not getting involved with the papers.”

Assistant District Attorney William Jorgenson asked Judge Toni Cimino to jail Rodriguez on $100,000 bail until his next court date on May 13, and for a restraining order to keep him away from Andaloro. Cimino granted the order of protection but released Rodriguez – a repeat offender with burglary and narcotics convictions, the Post reported – on supervised home confinement. 

Katz told the Post that Rodriguez’s case was about proving that the rule of law “exists on both sides.”

“If you walk into a house that’s not yours, when you don’t have permission to be there, and claim you’ve got rights, that’s not true! You can’t just walk into a house that is not yours and claim you have a right to be there,” she said. “Today proves it, right?” 

OWNER OF NYC HOME THAT WENT UP IN FLAMES SAYS HE CAN’T GET RID OF SQUATTERS WHO ‘HAVE MORE RIGHTS’ THAN HIM

She told the outlet that she was grateful for the press coverage of the case to “send a clear message out.” 

Previously, Range Rover-driving Rodriguez told the Post he was the real victim – he’d spent $25,000 fixing up the house, he’d claimed, and had been tricked by a bogus real estate agent named “Ronnie Ferg” whom he’d met at a laundromat. 

After he’d signed a lease for $3,200 per month on the home and moved in subletters, Rodriguez claimed, he realized something was amiss when Andaloro showed up. 

“I need a month or two to get them out,” he told the Post before his arrest. “I am ready to give the house back to Ms. Adele. I’ll take the L on this one. The house really beat me up.” 

It takes an average of 20 months for an eviction case to be resolved in New York City, according to the Rent Stabilization Association.

Share.

Leave A Reply

© 2024 Time Bulletin. All Rights Reserved.