Homeless veterans file suit against Titusville

Homeless veterans file suit against Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A group of homeless veterans is suing the city of Titusville.

They group said officers raided their camps, then destroyed their property, including a family member's ashes.

"They came and took everything," said homeless veteran Ralph Deese.

Deese who, gets around with an artificial leg, said he remembers the day when the city took everything he had left.

"I asked how we can recover our property, they said, 'You can't. We've taken it to the dump,'" said Deese.

A lawsuit filed Monday says two years ago Titusville officials raided homeless people's camps without official notice ... and left them with no way to get their possessions back.

"I said, 'We're taking it down today.' They didn't care, said Deese.

Deese said officers even took his dentures.

The homeless men have slowly been able to rebuild their makeshift homes. Some said the things they treasured most, including family photos and a family bible, will never be returned.

One man said he even lost his father's World War II burial flag.

"You can only kick a dead dog so much," said homeless man Adam Adkins.

Adkins said officers took all of his tools and equipment for trimming trees.

"It was my whole livelihood," said Adkins.

The city attorney for Titusville said he hasn't seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.

"They have rights. It's not illegal to be homeless," said George Taylor with National Veterans Homeless Support.

Taylor said if anyone was having a problem with a homeless camp, a homeless organization like his would have taken care of it.

"What's the price of freedom? Our veterans are coming home with major issues. They just want a job," said Taylor.

The camps were on private property. The lawsuit said some of the men had permission from the owners to be there.