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THlffiSDAY

AUGUST 12 2010

GWINNE'IT

DAILY POST

A Gwinnett Coun. ty Sheriff's deputy addresses Jbe wife of Howard Graber before she is transported In an ambulance on Wednesday follow. . Ing a four. hour SWAT standoff at her home.

.Stalf"Photo:jasonBraverman . Staff.Photol:Jason Bmtm\an

Gwinnett County Sheriff's department deputies watch as crews remove belongings .from inside a home after serving an eviction notice on' Wednesday in Duluth. The Sheriff's Department was serving' an eviction on Howard Graber and his wife, Nova Lee Graber, at Davenport Pink Lane In Duluth .about 9 a.m.~hen the resIdents of the home refused to come out of the horns and would not negotiate with deputies forcing the SWAT team to respond. . . . . I

SWAT
By JOSII GREEN
STAFFWRITER josh.green@gwinnettdailypost.com

standoff
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. ~:FromPage lA :::. ,:: :Davis said the couple ;h:!d filed suit against a. ~!:w York-basedbank to 'i"oid foreclosure. Court records list the defendant a.s:M&T Bank .
:Sheriff's Department Jiitokeswoman Stacey B\,urbonnais said a writ of p~ssession was served on t:J1e couple June 24, and the ~ ction was scheduled for

S~doff

' said. "Welive in a state of tYrmjny we can't get our if rightsenforced." The Graber'slegalpushback appeared to have failed them by mid-afternoon. . Moving Crewscluttered
their front yard with piles of cabinets, comp,u~er equipment, c06ches' aiid a television. Neighbors huddled on a street comer and talked of

Evictionesultsin4-hourincident. r
. -.-.-----------DULUTH - A four-hour showdown between deputies and two Duluth residents detennined not to be evicted devolved into a SWAT incident Wednesday, illustrating what some called fallout from the couple's misfortunes and a sour economy, Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department deputies attempted to serve an eviction about.9 a,m. on Howard Graber and his wife, Nova Lee Graber, at the Davenport Park Lane home they lived in. The Grabers refused to leave the home and would not negotiate with dep\lties, so SWAT team negotiators were called in, an official said. When talks failed, suited members of the department's SWAT team entered the home about I p.m. and took the couple into custody. Both were charged with misdemeanor obstruction and were being processed into the Gwinnett County Jail late Wednesday. Their bond amounts', were not known. Friends of the couple said Howard Graber, in his mid-40s, suffered a debilitating stroke a couple years ago

Crews from the G'wlnnett Fire and Sheriff's departments crowd Dav" enport Park Lane in Duiuth after deputies serving an eviction notice were faced with residents who refused to leave, causi"ng a four-hour

SWATIncident.

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keep pacewith their mortgageon his ' sian.

and had to forfeit a lucrative career in software sales. He and his wife, a homemaker, have since struggled to

more than'IO years, said Gary:o-avis,i a personal friend and fOl1J1er neigb-' bor in the Park at Cambridge s!lbdivi-;

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"(Howard Graber) j.ust got ou! 011 disability income alone, and have mounted a legal fight to keep tJieir his wheelchmr a few months ago," Davi$ said. "Real smart guy,. but he' home; friends said, The. Grabers lived together in the justlos~ hisincome." . . . well-kept two-story house, its win,dOWS girded by green shudders, for

victions are handled on .. ase-by-case basis, and ])otocol allows deputies to 'ciill in SWAT teams to remove uncooperative occupants, Bourbonnais said. "Because it was obvious they were not going to cooperate, SWAT was ed," she said. 'Lateef Bey, an associate o met the couple in meowners and foreelo'e protection meetings, d they'd filed a counter-' davit in Gwinnett State urt in the belief they'd ,,~ndenied due process. copy of that document taped to the Graber's .door and sent to , ~(lking sheriff's n~nt pfficials, Bey By forcefully eilterthe home, Bey feels . ..putie~ exceeded .their i!lth6rity and failed to lBide by Georgia code. "I think that this is a very sad day. Tomorrow it could be your home," Bey
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.dnesday.

.holding a vigilWednesday
evening to protect the Graber's stuff. Despite indicators that the economy is improving, deputies on scene Wednesday said they continue to serve 30 such evictions per day in'Gwinnett, with only about I percent of occupants showing resistance. Eviction orders are backlogged about a week, about the same as last summer, said Sheriff's Department Sgt. G. Chapel. ''These (incidents) are kind of pre, but they do happen," he said. Most evictions are served on foreclosed homes aJjd rental properties, from trlrller parks to addresses in famously swank neighborhoods, Chapel said. . Once moving crews emptY the horne's contents , into the yard, .it's considered abandoned property, ~nd deputies .bear no responsibilitY for the valuables, the deputies said. .

See Standoff,Page10A