A homeless man's camp directly in front of a Turlock residence was dismantled Monday by the property owner after the man's arrest.
"What can I do about this?" Christine Yalle posted on the Turlock Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook on Sunday afternoon. She said the man practically "has a house built" along Bernell Avenue outside the chain-link fence to a home her husband and she rent to tenants.
Yalle said she was impressed by and grateful for a quick response from Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar, who went to the property Monday morning and alerted the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, because it's county land.
Deputies arrested Jamie Samson, 34, on trespassing charges, the chief said.
Neighborhood services officers from his department, along with sheriff's deputies, repeatedly — including on Monday morning — have offered to get Samson to the services he needs, Amirfar said. "However, he refused the help and continues to violate the law."
Amirfar told the Yalles that public workers would clean up the mess Tuesday, but Omar Yalle tackled the job himself. He packed a minivan with blankets, clothing and an assortment of rubbish for repeated trips to the dump. He uncovered at the camp human waste, syringes, needles and other hazardous items.
He'd talked with Samson a few times, Omar Yalle said, but Samson would argue that, being on the street side of the fenced property, he was on public land and had the right to camp there.
But as Amirfar noted in a comment on Christine Yalle's Facebook post, "camping is illegal in the city."
Christine Yalle said Samson appears to have been living in his car on Bernell for a few months. When it was towed, he started "building his empire" along the street, directly behind Wakefield Elementary School.
Their tenants understandably were bothered by Samson's camp, the Yalles said. It deterred postal carriers from delivering and picking up mail, they said, and the waste disposal trucks had trouble getting to the garbage cans.
"And I was really concerned, too, about the kids (at Wakefield)," Christine Yalle said. "There's so many kids across the street, and seeing there's drugs over there (gesturing to the camp), and a spoon, and needles on the ground. I have kids of my own, and I'm pregnant. I don't want anything happening to any of those kids walking home from school."
Amirfar said, "The property owner was adamant that he has tried to get the person to leave his property and has cleaned up the mess at his own expense because of the health hazard to himself and the kids who walk past from the school across the street." But Samson refused to leave.
The Yalles said they hope his arrest finally will lead him to stay away. "My husband is a super nice guy, and people take advantage of his kindness, and I don't like that," Christine Yalle said.
If Samson returns, she'll call authorities again, she said, "I'm not going to be nice."