How can you forget Julio Ortiz, the ex-con who helped himself to an Army soldier’s Florida house without permission, squatting there while Spc. Michael Sharkey was stationed in Hawaii?
Ortiz apparently got spooked by rumblings last month that two biker clubs were set to pay him a little visit at Sharkey’s house in New Port Richey and protest Ortiz’s presence there, which apparently hastened Ortiz’s reported exit from the property — and all seemed headed back to normal.
Not so fast. Ortiz came back.
He was arrested Monday on a grand theft charge of stealing thousands of dollars of electricity at Sharkey’s house while squatting there, WFLA-TV in Tampa reported.
But Ortizr posted his $5,000 bond Friday — and, as WFLA put it, “went right back to the scene of the crime.”
More from WFLA:
Neighbors called the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Friday night to report Ortiz and his friend were back at Spc. Michael Sharkey’s house.
Sgt. Mike Jones said Ortiz was found at a neighbor’s house. He and his friend were both issued trespass warnings.
Ortiz and his girlfriend, Fatima Cardoso, told WFLA-TV that they had a verbal “contract” with a friend of Sharkey’s — who agreed to look after the house — to do work on the property in exchange for staying there. Lisa Pettus, Sharkey’s friend, denied Ortiz’s claim, saying she hired him to do work, never agreed to let him live there, and never left them alone in the house.
Lauren Price of Veterans Warriors told WFLA that Ortiz picked the wrong house to squat in, adding she’s heard from veterans around the world who want to help. An attorney was secured who would handle the eviction process for free. Volunteers have since come forward and agreed to keep a close watch on the property to deter vandalism.
Then the motorcycle clubs made their announcement, and Ortiz took off.
But apparently not for long.
Oh and Cardoso, Ortiz’ girlfriend? She’s still in the county jail and cannot yet post bond because her arrest was a violation of probation, WFLA reported.