The small eastern Ontario village of Parham is known for its pristine lakes and its serene wilderness.
That serenity, however, was recently disturbed after an alleged mid-August raid took place at a two-storey home tucked away off of Road 38.
“These guys came barging in and threw me down on the ground, pepper-sprayed me in the face and tossed me outside,” said Zoe Hannigan.
She continued on to claim that her landlord ordered 13 men to forcibly remove her and her girlfriend’s family from the home.
On August 17, Central Frontenac OPP responded to reports of a violent robbery. Police began its investigation and later charged six men with one count each of assault with a weapon, break and enter to a residence and possession of a prohibited device.
One of the men arrested and charged was Noah Post, the son of the home’s landlords.
“This wasn’t a home invasion, this was a home eviction,” said Linda Post, who owns the home.
She continued to say that the tenants of the home have destroyed her property in just two months of living there. Days after moving in, mountains of garbage, old furniture, rusty boats and cars were allegedly littered throughout the property, resulting in an eviction notice on July 15, according to Post.
“The moment they moved in, they began ruining my home and allowing random people to live inside. I live upstairs; I don’t want to look out my window and see this mess,” said Post.
The primary tenant, however, and mother to two of the three females allegedly assaulted during the incident, says there was no lease signed, and that they were trying their best to treat the property as if it were their own.
“I don’t know what we done wrong. Our relationship with Linda and Carl started with no problems, but it turned, and they wanted us gone,” said Susy Wickens.
The three that were allegedly assaulted during the mid-August raid all say they feared their lives when the group of men broke in and physically attempted to remove them.
“They started circling me with bear mace and a bat and screaming for us to get out,” said Shaylynn Haughton, Wickens’ daughter.
“I screamed 13 times that I’m pregnant, don’t touch me, and they didn’t care,” said Kate Sweet, Wickens’ stepdaughter.
When asked whether violence was necessary to remove the tenants, Post told Global News, “I think it was forceful to get them out of the house because they refused to leave.
“They know their rights, and I don’t think this is their first rodeo with dealing with a landlord,” Post continued.
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Post says Wickens has not made any rent payments over the two months, something that Wickens disagrees with, showing Global News her receipt from Ontario Disability Support Program of two $796 payments. According to both parties, rent is $1,200, which would make Wickens short by nearly $800.
Post says the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services is looking into whether the payments were received.
As for what’s next for Post, she tells Global News that if the family doesn’t vacate the premises, she will begin the due process which could take up to one year before anything changes.
OPP confirmed that all men arrested and charged were released on a promise to appear at a later date in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston to answer to the charges.