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Published: Friday, 5/7/2010

7 arraigned after foreclosure protest at Stony Ridge home


STONY RIDGE, Ohio - Seven people were arrested during the forced evacuation of a Stony Ridge house early Friday, including the homeowner who spent the week barricaded inside with several protesters in an attempt to resist eviction because of foreclosure.

The defendants appeared via video conference Friday afternoon in Perrysburg Municipal Court, all represented by attorney Terry Lodge. Judge Dwight Osterud released them on their own recognizance. Pretrial hearings will be scheduled later. The judge asked homeowner Keith Sadler if he understood that he could not return to his residence and he answered in the affirmative.

It took nearly two hours for authorities to arrest all in the home, including Mr. Sadler, 53, of Stony Ridge; Connie Smithingell, 20, of Perrysburg; Bryan Baumgartner, of Toledo, 19; Nicholas Botek, 23, of Maumee; Jessica Angelov, 20, of Oregon; Daniel Orange, 25, of Toledo; and Johnny W. Kutsch, Jr., 22, of Oregon.

Authorities broke down the front door of the U.S. 20 home about 6:30 a.m. Friday, Mr. Crandall said. About 30 protesters stood in the pouring rain and chanted "Keith's house" as Mr. Sadler was carried out by his hands and feet and placed into a Wood County sheriff's vehicle just before 8 a.m.

Protesters then moved to the Wood County jail, where those arrested were held early Friday.

Last year, State Bank and Trust Co. of Defiance foreclosed on the house, then bought it at a sheriff's sale in March for $33,333, court records show. Mr. Sadler was supposed to be out of the house by midnight Monday but said he would not leave his home voluntarily.

Mr. Sadler, who mostly has worked in factories, said he made his mortgage payments for 12 years after buying the house from his father but fell behind last year after he was off work from Dana Corp. for medical reasons.

The defense league involved in the protests with Mr. Sadler wants to see a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.

Mr. Sadler had lived in the home for 20 years.

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