Austin Government Officials Seize Man’s Home because he had a Bunker

Joe Del RioEarly one Saturday morning, 70-year old retired Air Force reservist and former state employee Joe Del Rio was awoken by a knock on his front door. It was the city of Austin’s local code enforcement team. One of the agents told Mr. Del Rio that he needed to speak to him right away.

After getting dressed Mr. Del Rio went and opened his front door. He was immediately bum rushed by the Austin Police Department’s SWAT Team and then detained and interrogated for over 10 hours.

What was this 70-year old mans crime?

It seems that the Mr. Del Rio had an underground bunker, and apparently in Austin, Texas that enough to have the SWAT team storm your home and hold you at gun point.

The bunker in question was previously built as a bomb shelter during the cold war. Mr Del Rio had recently renovated part of the old fall out shelter and had been using it as a makeshift workshop.

City of Austin Seizes Property

concrete trucksAfter his ordeal of being detained at gun point, Mr. Del Rio’s problems were far from over. First, the city fenced off his home and prohibited him from entering the residence. They then brought in contractors and completely filled in his entire basement and bunker with 264 tons of concrete.

To add insult to injury the city then sent Mr. Del Rio a bill for $90,000 in repairs, that they say were critical to make his home safe. Shortly later the City seized his property without a penny of compensation. Mr. Del Rio is now in the process of trying to sue the city for what he says is an unconstitutional seizure of his property.

Mr. Del Rio told a local Austin news outlet:

“The ordeal they put me through was unnecessary,” Del Rio, now 72, said the afternoon before the second anniversary of his forced eviction. “I’ve gotten the runaround. I think they want the property. Condemning it is a cheap way to get it.”


  1. Patricia Long
    May 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

    What ever happened to our constitutional rights??????? We can own our own homes, but they’re not really ours???? I hope this man wins his law suits! Outraged! That’s all I can say! Good Luck Joe!

    • throat puncher
      May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      what happened? OBAMA!

      • Hil Ai
        May 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

        That’s ridiculous. Do you really think Obama has time to be plotting against an old man in Austin, TX? Give me a break. This is a gross breach of this man’s rights though and this is all under a GOP run state government. I’d say your finger is pointed the wrong way.

        • jrm43231
          May 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

          That’s the most ignorant logic I’ve heard in a while. obummer and his goons don’t have time to plot against an old man, but the gop-run state gov’t does? If you think dems and reps are separate, adversarial entities, you’re a moron.

          • Jim
            May 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

            Your congress voted again for the Patriot Act, NDAA and soon CISPA. You HAVE no fourth Amendment rights…….. But you gave your liberty away for ‘free stuff’. Don’t worry though. Romney OR Obama will keep supporting you.

          • cindy
            May 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

            jrm43231 you must be the most ignorant person on here to believe that Obama has not done this. Along with some congressmen and senators yes they did pass the Patriot Act, NDAA but Obama all on his own passed the Executive Order and several wars. He says we are coming out of Afgan, that was 4 years ago he said that.You should do your own research and open your eyes. YOUR BLIND

          • Hmmm. I don’t see how you can blame Obama for this one. I see no mention of Federal agents in the raid. Nope this was a home-grown Texan episode. Very surprising that it would occur in Texas if you ask me. And I have to agree with Jim. Since the Patriot Act, any semblance of civil rights have been thrown out the window. We paid with our votes and got what we paid for.

          • Dylan
            May 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm

            It’s Austin, Greg, the most liberal and assine city in Texas. If something this stupid is going to happen in Texas, it’s going to be in Austin.

            And there is no doubt in my mind that he is going to win the case since now our tax dollars are going to have to pay for this mess.

          • Jon
            May 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

            The Congress already steam rolled CISPA last week now it’s up too ths Senate and if Obama keeps his word he says he’ll veto it, but he also said that about NDAA. But this poor old man’s story makes me so mad my toes curl, boy i hope he wins his suit.

          • joe
            May 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

            you are all idiots it is both sides that are selling out Americans

          • Eddie
            May 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

            Hehe. Its funny that you guys think there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats.

          • EE
            May 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

            It isn’t just the goverment that does just as it damn well pleases,it’s Big Business that also liks to push people around and take there homes and property away from them with out paying for it.
            It helps to keep their cost down and their profits high.I think if you were to look into who made a (killing)profit on gitting his property you may find out who got the local goverment to help the steal it in the first place.
            And yes,! Oboma and our goverment always knows what’s going on with Big Businesses, after all they are the ones helping our goverment to steal and give away our country to the rest of the world for self profit!! Because you know damn well we the people will never see a damn dime of a profit!!!!!

          • BondingSlick
            May 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

            It’s called Agenda 21!!! Research the internet while it’s Still Free!! Learn what the Federal Reserve has PLANNED FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!

          • Rick
            May 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm

            You know, I used to be a Democrat until I learned to read, then I was a Republican until I learned to read between the lines. The fabric of this country is being torn to shreds and all you people can do is call each other names. GROW UP, history is about to repeat its self, you better learn to stand together or fall alone.

          • Dawn
            May 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm

            The United States Government has been corrupt for far longer than Obama has been in office.He is just the latest idiot that has made it to be president. Its amazing how everything thats wrong is “Obama’s fault” wake the f^ck up!

          • me
            May 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm

            now i know it is getting BAD when you cant even dig your own hole to save your own ass !!!!! or the fed will get you !!!!!! END THE FED!!!!!!! RESTORE AMERICA !!!!!!! VOTE RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT !!!!!!

        • cindy
          May 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

          Hil Ai I think you are wrong and the government is getting ready to do this to everyone who is not compliance. You included and yes it is Obama and his NDAA and his executive order. Do the reading. Your not safe at all, and we have very few constitutional rights left unless your willing to fight for them and if you are hey join Congressman Ron Paul

          • John
            May 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm

            It’s sad that so many Americans are either blind or stupid. Wake the heck up people, this is going to happen to all of us because of Obama and his house of tards from all parties. Look up AGENDA 21 Kiss your freedom goodbye if you don’t vote him and his tards out on election day.

          • b-ran
            May 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

            I like how you say we still have rights. Name 1 right that we still have that we never have to fight for!!! The govt can do whatever the hell they want to with us cuz they can. They have the firepower to do what they want. I bet if they didnt have the military backing them up like little scaredy cats then they wouldnt try to do anything to take or restrict our rights at all.

          • Jon
            May 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

            Yeah people have been mis-guided on Obama, i do agree that he has signed some funky stuff in to law but he is fighting an uphill battle against the crooked Congress and Senate. He says he’ll veto CISPA, he has shown public support for OWS and this is only his first term most Presidents don’t do much first term for fear of not being elected too a second, so if he wins again we’ll see if he is the man we voted in to office in 2008. And it’s ridiculous to say he is the most Liberal ever, he’s been more conservative then Reagan on taxes and more conservative then Bush W on Medical Cannabis.

          • Drew
            May 10, 2012 at 6:29 am

            Obama had nothing to do with this it was Bush if you want to blame anyone. This is the cities stupidity. Stop blaming the president because he is black. All of a sudden the world is in peril because we have a black president where were you all when Bush and CHENEY were plotting to take every single one of your rights. Cheney admittedly stated that he believes the American people have to many rights but that’s okay because he is white. You all are a bunch of conspiracy theorist retards and exactly what is wrong with america. I probably will be hearing about one of you idiots getting shot up trying to storm the white house gates in the future.

          • Jennifer
            May 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm


        • Me
          May 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

          Yes, the state government is GOP run, but Austin is a VERY liberal city. Watch most elections, the GOP win most of the state but Austin votes solidly liberal.

          • Sparki
            May 11, 2012 at 9:18 pm

            Who in the world said anything about black and white till you drag it up??? You’re the biggest part of the racism issue in America…

        • Jim Joling
          May 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

          You obviously don’t know Texas. Austin is run by liberal Democrats and is nothing like the rest of Texas. Liberals are taking away freedoms every day.

          • Ran
            May 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

            No one owns property if they have social security numbers and receive government benefits. If you have these, you have privileges not rights, meaning your a slave.

        • Guy
          May 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm

          bullshit. Is everything the fault of the GOP !?!? Dumbass !

        • Allan
          May 8, 2012 at 9:47 pm

          You are a moron!

        • Jeff
          May 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm

          I don’t think it’s ridiculas at all.

          I take it you have not noticed things like fast and Furious, the Gibson Company raids, Farm raids, and the increased incidences of Police abuse ?.
          This has all occured since Obama stole his office and he is now in control of 100% of all our lives, just look at one of his recent Bills that authorize him to kill or detain Americans with out due process.

          • Niki
            May 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm

            that started with bush

        • ks
          May 9, 2012 at 1:49 am

          Austin is a Democrat RUN City .. not Republican at all… I hope he gets millions out of these JAs.

          • Dylan
            May 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

            Those millions will come from tax dollars. The city can care less. Austin’s city council voted to pay 3/4 of a million dollars to some hoodlum that was shot by a cop all because the cop forgot to turn on his dash cam. The other cop car had it’s dash cam on and the cop did nothing wrong, but yet they were OK in paying off some hoodlum’s family.

          • RioSam
            May 11, 2012 at 10:27 pm

            They will come up with some kind of code violation and he won’t get a on it! I feel for him..

        • Brian Fields
          May 9, 2012 at 10:40 am

          This is what Obama wants is all americans homeless and dependent on big government. This is just the beginning. research Agenda 21 google it. This is what’s to come for all of us.

          • Julie Quinn
            May 10, 2012 at 10:23 am

            This is only going to be the beginning before they pack you all off to the FEMA camps. Time for all of you to wake up!!

          • ybnrml
            May 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

            Agenda 21 is part of the problem. The United Nations is becoming the NWO. Agenda 21 is just part of the treaties that were signed years ago. Agenda 21 is already in every city govt. aka ICS or something. They are taking all the federal land and property owners are losing more rights every day. Go to the United Nations website and search “Agenda 21”. It’s all there. Sustainability! Bill Gates wants to kill 80% of population for Sustainability. But it will be good for you because the call it a vaccine. Hillary is ready to sign the small arms treaty calling for UN registeration of guns. Tighter control on selling guns, basically you can’t. Limiting areas gun free. And no one is talking about it. It’s real and its fact. Read it!

        • Block
          May 13, 2012 at 11:54 am

          Just another case of a government with too much power. Examples are everywhere. So much for “we the people”.

        • Kat
          June 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm

          Rick Perry probably had nothing to do with it, but all in all as Governor, he should Condemn this city and side with the homeowner.

      • SHTF
        May 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        God-damn BUSH and TEXAS, do you need to know more?

        • Jules
          May 8, 2012 at 2:01 pm

          What the hell are you talking about. Bush has not been President in 3 1/2 years. He never had any control over local police departments much less now. He is a private citizen. Don’t you think it is about time you get over your Bush derangement syndrome.

          • char
            May 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

            If you think Bush Snr. doesn’t have a hand in the shadow government, you are sorely mistaken. How do you think his idiot child got into the Whitehouse if the first place!

        • Bob
          May 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm

          Hey, ass-hat. A different president is office. Haven’t you noticed?

          • Cinder
            May 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

            you bush supporters, obama supporters – you’re all idiots. They are all the same and they all work for the same people. When are you ignorant people going to get off your stupid party high horse and realize they are all crooks and all work for Goldman Sachs and the like. The push is for UN Agenda 21, globalization, and no sovereignty. And the only reason they are getting away with it is because folks like you have such big egos when it comes to your precious Republican or Democrat party. When are any of you ever going to learn? Unbelievable!

          • danny
            May 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm

            you do understand that U.N. Agenda 21 is the statement of principles for the management of forests and the rio deceleration on environment and development right? sory, no secret new world organization is coming to get you. It sounds like to me this is just a shitty way for some one to get there home seized.

          • Lidia
            May 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm

            @Cinder, I couldn’t have expressed it any better. I so totally agree w/you.

          • Xavier Spade
            May 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

            I completely agree with Cinder.
            Cinder ^^ is absolutely 10Google% right.

          • Brian Fields
            May 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

            Cinder your right!!!!!!!! And the rest of these idiots that don’t believe it, will when they are told to leave their homes and go to the nearest fema camp for food and water. and a safe place to sleep. at least that’s what they will be told. In reality. Agenda 21 is real and we will be doomed if we don’t get together and say no to all of this crap.

        • Rick
          May 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

          @SHTF – figures you can’t or won’t use your real name punk. But if God does damn something, I am quite sure your name is on the list. Please pay me a visit here in Texas and we can discuss it man to man.

          • Renegade Ray
            May 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

            Nice! you tell him Rick, call me over I’ll help discuss your side of the argument

          • Livefree1200cc
            May 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

            Bush is just as much of a criminal as Odumbo. You candy a$$es that are still picking sides between Dems and Repubs have your heads shoved up where the sun don’t shine.

          • me
            May 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm


      • Snitch-in-Time
        May 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        Democrats totally control both city of Austin and Travis County. Most municipal governments are controlled by liberals. Just go to a TML or NLC meeting. Austin liberals are as bad as Mass & Cal. This was the work of local librals not state of Texas. I avoid Austin like a plague zone.

        • Caral Freeman
          May 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

          you are entirely correct, while Texas may be generally GOP, the dems run Austin and the surrounding area. Houston and Austin are democrat feeding grounds, they make the rules and they do whatever they want. I hope something can be done about this because this is totally unconstitutional!!

          • Mo Hanson
            May 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm

            ahh, so local government is good until it does something you don’t like.

          • David
            May 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

            Hey Mo Hanson, I take it you never heard of a thing in our history called the Revolutionary War. It was a bunch of people that didn’t like the laws so they decided to have a tea party and evict the crown from our shores. Might want to read about it. Kind of important.

        • Renegade Ray
          May 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

          hell yes thats true, Austin just made it ILLEGAL to smoke OUTSIDE in Public parks and OUTSIDE of public buildings….whats next? you must pay a breath the air tax?

          • carol
            May 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

            Renegade.. don’t give them any more ideals.. Next week we’ll be reading about dirty harry wanting a breath air tax..

          • Drew
            May 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

            Yes that is good they have these laws. Kill yourself on your own time. It is a public park not a smokers park. I hate good to a park only to have to walk through a crowd of cancer lung having idiots.

          • Livefree1200cc
            May 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

            Drew – I don’t smoke, but I can’t imagine anyone being moron enough to think that prohibiting people from smoking OUTSIDE is a good law !!!!!

      • Big Mike
        May 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        While Obama has been a force against our constitution just remember that little thing called The Patriot Act by the Bush Administration. Both have been highly responsible in the destruction of our Constitution.

        As for this story, it’s very sad but it’s just the beginning. People better wake up and get ready!

      • Scott
        May 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

        You are a f@cking moron…kill yourself now.

      • Randy
        May 9, 2012 at 6:57 am

        See Blaylock’s book: Leviathan: How Local Government Destroys Liberty if you want to understand the forces at work here.

      • pat
        May 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm

        God you are stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time to kill liberals!!!!!!!!!

    • Bryan
      May 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      They need their asses thrown in jail for not upholding the Constitution What a bunch of frickin tyrants.

      • Rombamba Obamney
        May 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

        Property rights include the land BELOW you and the air ABOVE you, regardless of local ordinance laws and variances needed – which, by the way, are only ADMINISTRATIVE in nature. You’re a natural born sovereign citizen whether it is realized or not. Unlawful, unconstitutional seizure, period. YES, Dr. Paul is this nation’s last hope folks, may God Bless every man, woman, and child in the very near future.

        • jo
          May 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

          Nope sorry, the air above your property belong to the FCC (for broadcasting wavelengths)and the military.
          You don’t even own the minerals in the dirt under your home IF your deed of purchase does not include the mineral rights. If you didn’t get the mineral rights in your deed contract(and few do)and tptb find some mineral or oil or something under your home you get mined under sideways to avoid having to pay you oil rig and mining rights. Then you can say sinkhole in 30 years if not sooner.

    • Enter your name...
      May 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Your rights? Your congress voted again for the Patriot Act, NDAA and soon CISPA. You HAVE no fourth Amendment rights…….. But you gave your liberty away for ‘free stuff’. Don’t worry though. Romney OR Obama will keep supporting you.

    • Leslie
      May 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      @Patricia, we do not!!! own our land or homes,here in Texas the last HOMESTEAD LAW, was abolished in the 70’s…. We were the last state to get that right taken away,if you really think you own your land/home, look around you at all the city/state/federal areas that have taken, sometimes with no payment to the leasee….There is no HOMESTEADING in the U.S. any longer.We lease the land /home from the countys , thats what county tax is, if you don’t pay it, what happens????? You loose your property to the leaser ie. GOVERNMENT,,,Take off your ROSE coloured glasses and wake up PEOPLE,Most likely, if a radical gets inpower again, we will never VOTE again, IT MIGHT BE YOUR LAST VOTE,,,Make it a wise choice,if you see your preceint doing something out of the norm,(bussing in people, not checking for voter registration,intimadation of any sort) call the press, do anything, just don’t stand there shrugging ♥

      • kara
        May 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm

        actually alaska was the last state to allow homesteading it went on til 1986

      • jo
        May 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm

        I agree.
        wait until some of the rose colored eyeglass wearers actually read the super fine print on the backs of their car/road tax and vin licenses papers or vehicle registration paper( forget which one) but on the backs it says in high speak but it means that at anytime the government wants us off the roads for any reason they can remove the right to OWN & drive our vehicles.

    • David Madewell
      May 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      When leadership is weak, the weak begin to lead. Welcome to Goofytown.

      • Derby
        May 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        It seems the city government is plenty strong.. what is weak is
        the self-government of the people.

    • One8
      May 9, 2012 at 4:39 am

      Lol we haven’t got any rights anymore. The goverments trying to get rid of us one by one

      • Brian Fields
        May 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

        Yes they are trying to get rid of about 6 billion people all in the name of sustainability…………………. We all have to stand up to these bastards.

    • Phil
      May 9, 2012 at 6:06 am

      What happened to our constitutional rights? Too many pseudo-communists in office over the years. Homes not really ours? Recall the first Plank of the Communist Manifesto – Elimination of private property. Realize that no matter how long ago you may have paid off your house/property, you still WILL have it seized, at gunpoint if necessary, and at the cost of your life depending on how much resistance you put up, if you don’t PAY YOUR PROPERTY TAXES. So, do you really EVER own your property as long as you must continue making payments to stave off seizure, which is forever? No. If you are willing to die for it, then I guess you could say you own it until the S.W.A.T. team comes and shoots you for resisting them. Like it or not, America is at least partly communist, and heading deeper fast.

    • John Doetsky
      May 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

      it isn’t that they aren’t really yours, but that often states claim that ownership of land only means the surface and what is found above the surface…it is likely that the man didn’t read the laws in his state well enough…these kinds of laws are in place so that the state can come in and claim any resources that are found underground, like precious metals, oil, coal, or natural gas…not saying i agree with it, just saying that is the reality

    • Renegade Ray
      May 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

      IF the government was to do that to me they would have to carry me out in a bag along with MANY of there own.. It is Time we STOP the corruption. STOP the POLICE STATE, STOP the Blatant Disregard for Our Constitutional Rights! Fellow American’s… we are coming Very Close to Nazi Germany mid 1930’s WAKE UP!!

    • May 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

      You pay property taxes, right? You don’t own it if the government can take it for non payment of tax (rent).

    • Klaus
      May 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      It’s not just Obama, who is way out of control himself. It’s government in general and these people that violate our rights and usurp their authority like this should be rounded up and publicly executed on national television. I’m sick of the mother F***ers in government. Where the hell is the local outrage? The people in that community should be storming the city government buildings. WTF!!!!

    • terry
      May 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      You pay for your house with currency that has debt/lien’s attached to it

    • Jo
      May 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      What do you people think happened to our Constitution? You still vote for the Status Quo. You still expect the govt to take care of all your needs and for security, you had allowed the govt to infringe on your Constitutional Rights and you stay quiet. Vote Ron Paul 2012 to get your constitutional rights AND PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS back.

      • David
        May 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

        It is all well and good to vote for whomever you want in office but remember that it is the electoral college’s vote that actually counts. There have been several presidents in our history that have lost the popular vote. If we really want a change for the better we have to push to disbanded the elector college and remove lobbyists from capital hill.

    • Enlightened
      May 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      Constitutional rights went out the window with the last election.

      • rorak
        June 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

        The constitution started to go bye bye with or before Nixon and Hover. People should have realized that when it became illegal to own a firearm when your a felon that soon everyone is going to be a felon.
        Its really sad when you know that 90% or more of our government would have been executed by the writers of our constitution as traitors.

    • Jeff
      May 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Strictly speaking we don’t own our homes if we have to pay taxes in order to keep them. Anything you have to pay fees or taxes in order to utilize is not inherently your property. We are lead to believe it is, but if we had sovereign authority over what we believe is our property, the government would have no ability to tax it, nor could they confiscate it without compensation.

    • SovereignMary
      May 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      I sure hope this poor man gets to sue all involved for their eye teeth. That bunker probably could have been used for a good tornado shelter. And, by the way – what was the reason for also cementing up his basement too? So much for property rights in Texas!

    • Stephen gardipee
      May 10, 2012 at 5:51 am

      I think this is a wake up call! The Constitution does not protect itself. We now have a secular progressive government. We need to elect conservative “Tea Party” conservatives who will respect the constitution. Get informed and get involved. I am voteing for tea party favorite, Glen Addison for Senate.

    • David Work
      May 10, 2012 at 7:41 am

      The sad reality is that we don’t own anything, we merely lease it from the government. They can take it from us any time they please. It didn’t start with Obama, our country has been going down this road for decades. Obama’s administration is probably just the final nail in the coffin for freedom.

    • Wolfman
      May 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

      All I can say is More Government=Less Freedom

    • pat
      May 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Time to over throw this communist government. Get your guns ready and lets do it.

    • todd bly
      May 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      its texas theyve been using eminent domain at least since bush2 was governor there in texas you dont have constitutional rights

    • darvin
      May 11, 2012 at 1:42 am

      we never really own our homes. after they are paid off, if you dont pay your taxes they take your house so we will always be paying on our house or it will be taken from us

    • matt oller
      May 11, 2012 at 6:11 am

      Caesar said, divide and conquer. give them bread and circus.
      nothing has changed. i was watching a film, and all that is done is to dehumanize someone, lie often, and loud, and voila! that is now the truth.
      It matters little what puppet is in office as long as the same puppeteer pulls the strings…

    • element
      July 13, 2012 at 1:52 am

      texas is n energy point for illuminati rituals and agenda… and also a point they have to keep secure from the borders not people gettng in, but when shtf people getting out. good luck all and god speed. ake up before your bed is filled with concrete while ur in it ;-]

    • JM
      December 25, 2012 at 4:40 am

      4th Amendment Constitutional Rights have now all but disappeared under the “Homeland Security Act.” We all saw it coming. Our Senate and Congress saw it coming. Now we have a Fourth Reich, with policies being enforced by a new Gestapo.

  2. Derrick
    May 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

    this is outrageous! This should not have happened. He served his country, and worked for the state; and this is how this elderly man is going to be treated. This is how we know time are getting bad and we shouldn’t fall back but hold our ground!

  3. Carol-Lee Kim
    May 8, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I thought Texas at least was the last stronghold for the constitution being upheld. The even sadder thing is if this gentleman wins, and I hope he does mightily. That it won’t be the idiots in office that have their property removed to give to the gentleman, it will be the tax payers of the city. This is so sad, and senseless.

    • Sarah Henry
      May 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      perry is a banker backed Bilderburg flunky just like all the rest of them-Austin is ran by Liberals,nuff said

      • Scott
        May 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm

        Screwn Texas and Texans…bunch of inbred redneck pig f@ckers

        • Desertman
          May 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

          @ Scott, don’t get your panties in a wad, the people of the great state of Texas don’t need your ignorance anyway. Enjoy your mom’s basement while you can, who knows her home may be next.

        • Chris
          May 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

          Actually is the yankee carpet baggers that are screwing it up.

          • David
            May 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

            Ok first off, Scott, your an idiot for generalizing. Two, Chris, this isn’t the post civil war south. Don’t paraphrase things you read about in U.S. History class in high-school.

        • J. D.
          May 10, 2012 at 12:40 am

          Scott, what is wrong with being a redneck? I’m proud to be a born and bred (NOT inbred) redneck. I’ve visited Texas many times and I like Texas and Texans. Excluding some of them from Austin.

    • Jeff
      May 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Austin seems to be the exception to that Carol

      • Chris
        May 9, 2012 at 8:21 am

        Add Houston to that list as well.

  4. Ken
    May 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

    We’ve got to get our gov’ts back to serving us, not ruling us. Smaller is better. I think more and more people are realizing the police state we are now finding ourselves in. This is a very sorry state of affairs. I hope Joe gets his home back and is compensated for the stress.

    • JC
      May 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more Ken. We need smaller government. The government employees are public servants, not rulers of the citizens.

  5. jess
    May 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

    nice reporting. you forgot the part where it was reported that he had signifigant quantities of explosives on the property.

    Turned out not to be true, but it’s the reason why the SWAT and everyone else was there in the first place.

    • Kroton
      May 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Yes that is just the cover story they tell the sheep to get a way with it

    • G Money
      May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      I agree: If someone LIED about explosives to get the warrant so SWAT could come to the party (which is pretty much guaranteed), then that should be reported.

    • Off Grid Survival
      May 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      First, maybe you should watch the video because he mentions the so called explosives in the video, so we really didn’t leave anything out of the story.

      Second SWAT showing up had nothing to do with the so called “explosives”. There were barrels filled with gravel in the backyard that were discovered during the raid NOT EXPLOSIVES. The bomb squad was called out over barrels filled with dirt and gravel.

      He did have a couple old inert Grenades that were also found during the raid but again they had nothing to do with SWAT showing up at his door. They were old NON-WORKING grenades that people collect.

      The explosive B.S. which even you admit was not true, was in my opinion a cover story created by the city to save face. The fact is, they raided a 70 year old mans home over zoning and permit issues. If they really feared this guy there is no way they would have let the zoning officials knock on his door.

      • suzi more
        May 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm

        I heard one thing that this man said that brought an “aha!” to my mind, he thought that they may have wanted his property for some reason. Who knows, his little piece of property may have been what someone wanted and this whole thing could have been a way of intimadating him into selling it. Especially with a whopping bill that he couldn’t ever afford. I think all of you are reading into this incorrectly. Somebody wanted to make trouble for him, maybe even frighten other property owners in his neighborhood so they might sell out. You need to watch and see what happens next.

    • Brian Fields
      May 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Jess Don’t believe everything you read or see in the mainstream media. They say what they want so they can do what they want!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Constance Griffin
    May 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    we have elected these people… the appointments
    are by the people we have elected… the thing is that people are too busy trying to stay afloat to do the research on the canidates…( and that is deliberate) so the lies get them elected… we have sold ourselves into slavery and now have devils for masters.

  7. James
    May 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison

  8. Dinah
    May 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Is there a mailing address where we can donate money to help this man’s fight?

  9. nativeATX
    May 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I live in Austin, and this is disheartening to hear about. It makes me anxious, because of what these days are coming to, and keeps my finger on the trigger because i won’t be a victim. I pity da fool that comes to my house looking to barge there way in and violate my rights and disturb my castle.

  10. John
    May 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Cities condemning properties is not a new thing. This has been done may times.

  11. Mo Hanson
    May 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Actually, the right to seize property for other than Gov projects (ie: roads, public works) was granted by the Supreme Court in about 2002, right before the real estate bust. Florida wanted to redevelop expensive property with expensive homes, and confiscated the pre-existing homes on grounds of urban redevelopment. Florida won (Republican state, conservative court)

  12. agentsteg
    May 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    This is from 2 years ago..

  13. Rob
    May 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Where is the governor? Why isn’t he helping this man? Was he told about this?

  14. Harry Nutczak
    May 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I don’t give a ratzass what political party is in that towns government, this mans property was illegally seized! Many people had fallout/bomb shelters in the 1960’s. Why is it so horrible if someone still has one? From the looks of the way things are going these days, we no longer need to worry about another nation taking an offensive step, it is our own government that has declared war on US citizens. Under BATFE rulings, every single Mormon in this country fits under their definition of a terrorist because their religion tells them to stockpile food! I am probably considered a terrorist threat because I preserve food myself. How has being self-sufficient become a crime?

    • old soldier
      May 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      I agree whole heartedly. The city destroyed this man’s property and had the audacity to bill the man. Also, yes, many people had bomb shelters from the 50’s, and most likely still do. In the 50’s , the govt actively promoted building shelters. Not only that, but shelters were set up in the basements of many govt bldgs, local and state. It’s kinda ridiculous that the govt would reverse itself and do what they did to this man’s property. Finally, don’t forget about the two previous stories on this site where a state or federal govt entity took action like this story: Michigan with the pigs and Maryland with the seizure of a couple’s bank account.

  15. Debbie
    May 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    it’s not like he didn’t see this coming….

    a little research reveals the whole story

    Aug. 8 – City receives first complaint regarding a “large hole” under the driveway at 2006 Canterbury St. The owner told a city investigator he was building a handicap ramp.


    Sept. 30 – City receives complaint that a large hole on the property had been filled with water.

    Oct. 7 – Investigator visits 2006 Canterbury and is told by the owner that he is filling a sinkhole and building a retaining wall. Owner receives a warning notice for working without a permit, and a stop work order is posted.

    Oct. 12 – City approves a site plan exemption requiring a building permit for the property.

    Oct. 23 – After the city finds no building permit has been issued, an investigator visits property, finds no one at home.

    Dec. 11 – Follow-up inspection. Owner told he needs to obtain a building permit.


    Jan. 6 – Follow-up inspection. Appears no more work has been done.

    March 25 – Follow-up visit. No one at home; investigator leaves card.

    March 26 – Phone call to owner. No answer; investigator leaves message.

    April 27 – Follow-up visit. No one at home; investigator leaves card.

    April 28 – Owner contacts city; inspection scheduled.

    May 4 – Inspection finds extensive excavation beneath house.

    May 8 – Follow-up inspection. Administrative search warrant issued.

    May 13 – Follow-up inspection. Notice of violation posted.

    • Matt
      May 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Could you link your sources please?

  16. sharpinla
    May 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Agenda 21 wears no color exclusively (i.e. blue or red) and it starts locally and moves up the food chain to the national level.

  17. Simple Simon
    May 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    This is very similar to the Andrew Wordes fight in Roswell, GA which ended with his tragic death in the face of heavily-armed police.

    And to support previous comments, I have lived and worked in Austin – it is E San Francisco, not Texas.

  18. Raven
    May 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Look here Liberals, this is what you trun a blind eye to every day… Your constitutional rights as well as mine and other conservatists are being taken away,,(by force” not be lawful procedures.. You may be next

  19. stephen g
    May 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Some progressive liberal told the police department the old man had a under ground set up and made a bunch of shit up about the man-blam looked what happened to this man and his home-why could not the police ask him if they could look at his under ground set up-something is wrong about the whole thing-someone wanted to get this man,since when can a home owner not have a under ground set up.I hope he sues the police and city and wins millions of dollars-he should win by all means.this country has become a police state but you can not do any thing to an illegal alien,black person but if your a white male you have no rights at all-This makes me so dam mad…

    • “Some progressive liberal told the police department the old man…” Pretty firm statement with no proof offered. Could it possibly a neighbor who didn’t like the idea of a standing pool of water in the neighborhood? Maybe a property owner concerned about the value of his own property? As long as we keep up this liberal vs conservative dialog, the forces that be will continue to hose us. They want us to keep fighting over non-issues while they pick our pockets.

  20. Mune Shadowe
    May 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Remember folks;
    There is a method to the madness and if you don’t see it coming you are nothing more than a fool….

  21. m clark
    May 8, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    you morons don’t understand what has happened to amerika. you debate obama vs gop. that is stupid. wake up. your america is gone – because you did nothing. now you debate as more of america is taken from you – and still you do nothing. look in the mirror. you will see the face of a moron. assured.

  22. Laura
    May 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm


  23. Ted
    May 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    If Texas doesn’t vote for Dr. Paul to return our country back to sanity, we’re in for more of this. Just look at the bills past recently starting with the NDAA on Dec 31.

    After Waco & YFZ you’d think they would vote out the rascals responsible for this sort of thing. Have they forgotten the Alamo? It’s time they get out and vote to restore the rule of law, instead of voting for more of this sort of tyranny.

    At least Ron Paul is from Texas. Maybe they’ll listen to him.

  24. Jeff Gabel
    May 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Thankyou liberals, Thankyou Democrats, Thankyou Rinos, for becoming the police state we always feared. We are frogs in the slowly boiling pot of water. How much are we going to put up with?

  25. Randy
    May 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    First of all, let’s look at this in various ways. Now then, it’s not unlawful to have a bomb shelter; the government sells ICBM launch bunkers to ordinary citizens to reside in; what you need to do is perform an historical analysis in this geographical area to find out exactly what the interest is in this particular pinpointed area.

  26. Hammer
    May 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I don’t understand why everyone keeps pointing the finger at the two parties. It’s not one parties fault over the other it’s the entire government, Republican and Democrat. They are both paid off by the banks and are doing exactly what they are paid to do… divide this country and its people. Wake up sheeple! If you stand for freedom, personal rights, and less government then you are against all government, rep or dem. No politician has your best interests in mind only that of the bankers who sign their checks….

  27. May 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    They need to know we’re watching them and not just sitting back stewing in passive outrage!

    Here’s some contact information for the Mayor of Austin and the Governor of Texas. . .ask them why this happened and what are they doing about it to make sure it doesn’t happen to anymore innocent, law-abiding citizens.

    Mayor & City Council:

    Office of the Governor Main Switchboard [office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST] :
    (512) 463-2000

  28. Cassiopeia
    May 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Wow. I read so many comments of people calling each other “moron”, “idiot”, “retarded” and then continuing on with completely ignorant comments. Americans? Why are you fighting each other? Don’t you understand that they are pitting you against each other so you won’t see what they are doing to you? You’re arguing over who is protecting you the most, while they are ALL in cooperation with each other taking your money and worse, indebting you, making you sick with the food you are forced to eat, locking the borders so you can’t get out, and filling in the hole you dig to hide in. You are being herded, gutted and eaten, and you are fighting each other over who is eating you the most. It’s time you get together and realize you’ve been fucked, and start fighting back. Turn OFF your TV.

  29. blu
    May 8, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    RESEARCH : Emergency banking relief act 1933

  30. KramLaFup
    May 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    google (stossel illegal everything)

  31. donna
    May 9, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Casseopia, you hit the nail on the head hun…sheeple please turn off those movie screens of the devils (tv’s), start educating yourselves now. Its like we say, “I wish i knew then what i knew now” but by then its usually too late. I hope the guy wins in not having to pay any money to them & they allow his bunker to be restored & the taxpayers dont have to suffer. Peace & love to all here & luck for those who need it..x

  32. Wild
    May 9, 2012 at 4:40 am

    If you vote republican OR democrat, YOU are the problem. This crap will continue under Obama, Romney or any other jackass we elect from the 2 party system. The ONLY way to change this shit is to vote 3rd party! JUST DO IT and stop whining about our government!

  33. Rodney
    May 9, 2012 at 5:42 am

    %#$@ the govn’t.

  34. crazylikeafox
    May 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

    This is definitely beyond ridiculous and just more proof that our so-called government is taking our rights away, one by one. If some of us weren’t sure before, I hope we ALL now know that we have to get that nut out of the oval office and completely overhaul the rest of the top government positions!

  35. sheri
    May 9, 2012 at 7:51 am


  36. CountryGun
    May 9, 2012 at 7:54 am

    The number of people, in this thread, willing to roll over and give up their rights is appalling!

    Obama, not long ago, signed an Executive Order that allows feds to raid your home if they suspect you have stored more than two weeks of food or water!

    What happened to the patriots in this country?

    • Renegade Ray
      May 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

      I could not agree more, there are VERY few of us True Americans Left my friend. To be a True American you must be willing to Die if need be for your freedom and rights, just as are forefathers did. Its Very sad indeed

  37. Not Sure
    May 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Then other disturbing thing about this is that every police matter now seems to require a SWAT team or some other forced, aggressive entry. What ever happened to knocking on the door and saying “Hello”? Have our law enforcement become so inept that they don’t even use any sort of psychological approach anymore? They immediately have to resort to aggression when dealing with the public? Disturbing because these guys are our neighbors, not some goons from DC.

  38. Robert Iacomacci
    May 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I think there is more to this story. I am not saying government is not capable of this kind of stuff, but, I promise you, I can build me a bunker and no one is going to bother me or it. If you do not like the fact that a city is run by Liberals, get the hell out. If you do not like that the suburbs are run by Conservative, get the hell out. But as far as this goes, I think the man should have moved out of the city. We do not own the property we live on anyway. THEY DO.

  39. v3ng3nz
    May 9, 2012 at 9:59 am

    This happened because people let it.

  40. May 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

    For what it’s worth, there is more to the story here. Sounds like he was in willful noncompliance of city building codes among other things. Not necessarily justifying what the city did, but it isn’t like he couldn’t have seen it coming. (this is one of our local tv stations) (this is the main city newspaper)

    • Renegade Ray
      May 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

      I understand that but, How do you feel about the government big and Local being able to tell you what to do with your own property? and the laws they make up out of thin air ( to many for anyone to count)that are not made ready available…

      • May 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

        I don’t like the government telling me what I can or cannot do with my property. However, he was in noncompliance with city/county codes, and it does sound like there were legitimate safety concerns both for him and for the neighbors’ homes.

        So I guess part of the question back to you would be, how would you feel if your neighbor was doing something that could cause your own foundation to crack or even create a sinkhole that could cause your house to collapse?

        A lot of building codes are stupid to be sure, but many do exist for a reason.

        • Renegade Ray
          May 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

          well I think, the “bomb shelter” had been there for a Long time, thus Grandfathering it in like many structures all over Texas. he add a/c and now he gets his rights revoked..???? I don’t like what some of my neighbors do but this is supposed to be a free country, what is the point of owning something if you don’t have control of its use.. within reason of course, if his house falls in and kills him , that was his choice.. and we have a court system if your property causes damage to someone else property.. you don’t send in swat and concrete trucks for a foundation issue. look at the neighborhood,, it was Low income , I hate to say it but this man is a victim of a local government out of control.. IF your correct then is it safe to say that since Many historic building don’t meet current codes they should be torn down or “filled” in by force.. and for the record i’m not a left Lib or a right republican.. I believe in LARGE personal responsibility. and Very Small Government.

  41. jack
    May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am

    attention imbeciles: “YOU’RE” means “you are”.

  42. Renegade Ray
    May 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

    All I have to say is THE HELL WITH THAT…IF the government was to do that to me they would have to carry me out in a bag along with MANY of there own.. It is Time we STOP the corruption. STOP the POLICE STATE, STOP the Blatant Disregard for Our Constitutional Rights! Fellow American’s… we are coming Very Close to Nazi Germany mid 1930’s WAKE UP!!

  43. BL
    May 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

    OUTRAGEOUS!!! Unconstitutional! Who was in charge? I can’t begin to express my outrage at the situation. To add insult to a horrible injury the grammar of the article is 3rd grade (sorry third graders). Are there no editors?! This is not right on any level.

  44. A J Todd
    May 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Now that’s rediculous !! What will they do next bust in and fill my toilet with concrete because the government is supposed to reglate when I take a dump ?

  45. May 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

    This is why citizens need the same weapons as goverment: to prevent these abuses of power. I would have shot back. I have nothing to lose once I lose my house.

  46. BC
    May 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    If the lot of you think either party has your best interests in mind you are sadly mistaken. Blame Obama, Blame Bush… doesn’t matter, they’re just figured heads put up on the pedestal of distraction.

    • Randall
      May 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      Amen BC

  47. Patrick Leonard
    May 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    This is the best example as to why public officials who blatantly violate civil rights of citizens must be publicly executed.
    Of course, it won’t happen; we aren’t that barbaric..funny, though, how the public officials are…

    Anyhow, the least we can do is public castration…

    • Renegade Ray
      May 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Patrick you are on to something that we should do!! THERE SHOULD BE LEGAL PUNISHMENT FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS WHO MAKE RULING AND JUDGMENTS AGAINST OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. LOCK THEM UP IN JAIL don’t just slap them on the wrist. or remove them from office. We the people suffer unto the law, are they above it.. at this point yes my fellow citizen they are, if a judge wrongfully senescence you for life in jail and then they find that he was knowing wrong he just has to say “sorry” after you have spent 20 plus years in bars..??? want to keep them in check, keep all of us EQUAL!!!

  48. TomM
    May 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Jeezus…he didn’t even build the “bunker!!” And living less than an hour away, you would think this would have made the local news. But NOOOOOOO….

  49. Maggie
    May 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    We lost our house with a highway going by our property. EMINENT DOMAIN is our government way of taking property. They offered us LESS money than we owed the bank and said if we didn’t like it, we would be evicted. We were forced to get an attorney and only got a bare amount of profit over bank mortgage but no profit from what we had invested in the house. NAME ME ONE THING IN OUR LIVES THAT GOVERNMENT DOES NOT GOVERN. I cannot think of anything. Air, water, food, medicine, property, plants, clothing, everything a house is made with, and everything in our lives including children, parents, our bank accounts, savings and checking. THEY CONTROL EVERYTHING…..we are puppets and if you don’t do what they say, they cripple you by fines or arrest. THIS IS NOT FREEDOM.

    • Randall
      May 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Agreed Maggie, the problem is both a “D” and an “R” problem it’s the govt. doing this nomatter who is in office

  50. Alisha love
    May 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    That is seriously messed up…he is 72 Come On NOW City of Austin that is rediculous! They should have handled that way differently and better what a disgrace to our city!That is the way WE Treat the elderly!!??? I DO NOT THINK SO! What A SHAME! This is horrible.

  51. Fiddle Mike
    May 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Austinites pride themselve on their Left-leaning city government. You get what you pay for, armed uniformed thugs and property seizure is part of it.

  52. D
    May 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Wow…and people think FEMA camps exist. Someone needs to get their head checked.

  53. D
    May 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Want to scare someone? Then tell them that the (insert any government, agency political party etc ) are working to take away your rights, your freedoms and that the future of America is in danger of a takeover because of ( insert most hated politician here) and that most Americans are unaware of this global threat because we are ( asleep, sheep, etc). Old, tired, useless, baseless arguments designed to instill fear and hysteria in people. Show me a REAL FEMA camp and then we’ll talk, ok?

  54. Ray Mullar
    May 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Dear City of Austin, Have you ever heard of the 4th Amendment as it pertains to the Bill of Rights? In case you haven’t, here it is as taken directly from the U.S. Constitution. “Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Now that your memory has been refreshed, don’t you think that you have violated this man’s basic American right of an unreasonable seizure?

  55. D
    May 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Funny how non of the major news carriers covered this. The only sites I see this same story repeated over and over on are sites of Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorist nutjobs. Hmmm. Maybe people should ask why, don’t you think ?

  56. K Long
    May 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    This is why we don’t need more government! People deserve to feel safe in their own home. With home invasions and bad weather on the rise…we all need a bunker!!!

  57. AZRanger
    May 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I have only one question. WHERE IS THE TEXAS MILITIA?
    The city goons who did this should have been citizen arrested by the militia members, cuffed and drug off to a local magistrate for assault and a violation of that man’s 4th Amendment rights!
    So Texas, don’t tell the rest of the world how tough and ready you are! SHAME ON YOU! To let a vet have this happen in your state. At least in AZ, we went to Quartsite and showed those cowardly bitches that we were ready for a fight if they wanted one! I guess they didn’t want one!
    Where were you???

  58. Johnny Ripps
    May 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    The city of Austin is a Liberal Democratic bunch of idiots and wierdo’s…the state wouldn’t do this without a reason to believe a crime was being committed.

  59. David J
    May 9, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    FYI – some additional info:

    Joe Del Rio, the retiree who excavated a huge pit underneath his East Austin home that prompted a raid by SWAT and bomb squad officers last month, is suing the city for taking his private property by filling in the hole, his lawyer said Thursday.

    Earlier this week, Austin city officials had ordered the collection of tunnels and rooms, which they have characterized as a 35-foot-deep multilevel underground structure, filled with concrete to prevent Del Rio’s house from collapsing. Work crews for a private contractor were scheduled to begin filling in the underground space this morning, which officials said would take about 33 truckloads of concrete.

    A spokeswoman for the Public Works Department said the estimated cost of filling Del Rio’s pit is about $61,500. The city will pay for the work and then bill Del Rio, Sara Hartley said.

    Linda Kaplan, Del Rio’s attorney, questioned the city’s rush to fill in the hole.

    “This past year was one of the rainiest on record, and the house is still standing,” she said. “They’ve made it sound like the house was going to fall through the street and endanger the neighbors.”

    Kaplan said a portion of the hole was a pre-existing fallout shelter built in the 1950s that her 70-year-old client used as a workshop and had expanded over the years by digging with hand tools and removing the dirt bit by bit with buckets.

    She described him as a skilled do-it-yourselfer who worked as a supervisor in the maintenance department of the Austin State Hospital: “Mr. Del Rio wasn’t a madman with no experience — he was a state employee for years.”

    She said, “He is kind of like MacGyver” — the resourceful hero of an eponymous television series known for jury-rigging his way out of tight spots using whatever was at hand.

    “He used car struts and welded them into the basement walls as supports, and empty car batteries as cinder blocks,” Kaplan said. “Everything had a plan — he was never just digging to dig.”

    Code compliance inspectors visited Del Rio’s house in 2008 and 2009 in response to neighbors’ complaints about various holes, according to city records. After an inspection in early May, officers from Austin’s Police, Fire and Public Works departments on May 8 swarmed onto the property, fencing it off. Del Rio has lived with relatives since then.

    In a mid-May report, city engineers, citing deep excavation under load-bearing walls and scant reinforcement of walls in the pit, declared that Del Rio’s home was “in imminent danger of collapse.”

    Demolishing the home, they said in the report, would almost certainly cause a cave-in, so filling in the pit was the only option.

    Even so, Kaplan said city attorneys as recently as early June had agreed to let Del Rio hire a private engineer to assess his home’s structural integrity. But earlier this week, the deal was withdrawn, Kaplan said. “We were absolutely denied the opportunity to contradict the city,” she said.

    City officials said they had no choice.

    “The deep excavation beneath the residence at 2006 Canterbury has created dangerous conditions that require us in the interest of public safety to proceed with the remediation project as soon as possible,” Melissa Martinez, a spokeswoman for the city’s Code Compliance Department, said in an e-mail response to questions.

    On Wednesday, Kaplan sought a restraining order that would have delayed the fill-in. However, Travis County District Court Judge Suzanne Covington denied the request.

    Martinez said that although it may be true that a small part of Del Rio’s project was a fallout shelter, that, too, appears to have been built off the books.

    “The City has not been able to identify any permit records indicating construction of a bomb/fallout shelter was ever authorized for 2006 Canterbury,” Martinez wrote. “So far as we are aware, this is the first case involving a Code Compliance complaint where the property owner has contended subsurface excavation is related to a bomb shelter.”

    Martinez said the city had no census of how many bomb shelters remain underneath Austin-area homes. Mike Miller, manager of the Austin History Center, said a 1966 map displayed about three dozen fallout shelters in public buildings downtown. The closest to Del Rio’s house was the Holly Power Plant.

  60. Brando Fontaine
    May 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Here is a totally outrageous story, I fear we will be seeing more and more of this – what is the new law? If you have a fallout shelter built during the cold war – the SWAT team can raid your house – the city fills it in and then bills you – what have we come too? – these are sad times we are living in —

  61. Mike
    May 10, 2012 at 5:21 am

    This is not exclusively a Bush or Obama problem, get a grip folks.

    This is a systemic problem across the ENTIRE United States. Our government is bloated with bored, power-hungry bureaucrats seeking to control every aspect of our lives. This needs to END now, or our Liberty will be dust in the wind.

  62. Allan Recticuli
    May 10, 2012 at 6:27 am

    The way I see it all the neighbors should be nosy;when the few MORONS come around trying to impose their will; the majority should step up
    and let them know where the bears do crap, and that the people as a WHOLE are not going to tolerate their COMMUNISTIC AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR!!! It is like most laws that wind up on the books get there because at the time it does not apply to them, so no stink is raised about the law at that particular moment in time. Most have no MORAL sense about them. The cowards use the ‘COLOR of AUTHORITY as their reason for doing what they are doing to one another. SEMPER FI!!!!

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    The quotation stems from Niemöller’s lectures during the early postwar period. Different versions of the quotation exist. These can be attributed to the fact that Niemöller spoke extemporaneously and in a number of settings. Much controversy surrounds the content of the poem as it has been printed in varying forms, referring to diverse groups such as Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists depending upon the version. Nonetheless his point was that Germans–in particular, he believed, the leaders of the Protestant churches–had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.

    • David J
      May 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      The city found out about the hole because the neighbors complained about it…

  63. germaine abney
    May 10, 2012 at 6:30 am

    i lived in austin for about 4 years last time and texas does what texas wants. including taking children away from there parent’s that have asked for help with family problems. so this does not suprise me at all but it is very sad..

  64. peck
    May 10, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I have little sympathy for those that do NOT defend themselves against these intrusions. My “motto” is Shoot First. I am prepared to, and WILL shoot to kill anyone, no matter the costume, who intrudes on my 12 acres without my permission. Take heed, folks. Only armed force will stop this crap.

  65. Lisa Farkass
    May 10, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Obamney, Republicrat, Democan, whatever, unless it says Ron Paul, it all SOS…Read Agenda 21 fools, they are coming for your private property, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it is coming, chip, chip, chip, just like the gun rights they are wanting to take away, chip, chip, chip WAKE UP

  66. Bill
    May 10, 2012 at 8:03 am

    For those of you who don’t think it is both parties it was the republicans that just the first part of this month passed H.R. 347 which states if an S.S. agent heard you bad mouth the president you will be arrested and charged with a felleny.

  67. Wolfman
    May 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

    All I can say is that More Government=Less Freedom

  68. Brandon Donavan
    May 10, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I hope everyone involved in this matter, from the bureaucrats down to the swat team members that took part in this, dies in a fire. Lead in the head would be even better. This is becoming quite the police state. I hope every libtarb demorat dies of aids in their butt.

    • me
      May 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      OOOH…. Believe ME .. there’s gonna be a fire Alright !!!! GOD will burn all those who are who are playing god and pretending to be above GOD !!!!!!! you need to start praying to GOD and repenting for your sins thru jesus christ our saviour … and only then will you be graced with the holy spirit !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  69. joe
    May 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    this is bs ! what if there was a tornado coming and this old man had no where else to run ??? dumbass police and governments

  70. Traci
    May 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I just have to say – just who the hell do they think they are? That’s one of the most heinous acts of intrusion and theft by the government that I’ve heard in awhile. Who the hell do they think they are?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. dragonleo
    May 11, 2012 at 1:37 am

    it is called taxation without representation and We kicked the crap out of jolly olde England a couple of hundred Years ago for this VERY thing,and NOW it’s happening in our own back yard,and WE outnumber THEM 10 to 1,WTF?why are We standing for this kind of BS when We are sending OUR loved one’s to fight for (ahem) DEMOCRACY,in other places?when our problems are right under Our very noses,kind of makes You say HMMMMM!it is better to Die on Your feet the to live on Your knee’ least I believe so,and CAN’T wait for for fit to hit the shan.I am ready for a change,NO matter the cost from time to time the tree of Liberty need’s to be replenished with the Blood of Patriots & tyrants,our Government is FULL of the latter,However,THANK GOD our country is FULL of the previous,God bless TRUE Americans.

  72. Jim In AK
    May 11, 2012 at 3:14 am

    QUESTION for y’all: Where is Gov. Perry? Hello??? This is one of YOUR constituents. Ummmm Hello?

  73. Roy
    May 11, 2012 at 4:49 am

    I’m beginning to think stories like this are fabricated to invoke fear. Where is the proof other than this story of the proof? Was it in local newspapers or local news stations? How do we know?

  74. Roy
    May 11, 2012 at 5:07 am

    I’ve tried finding this story with Austin local news sources, but can’t find anything. Also if he’s filed a law suit, there should be a public record of it. In fact there should be a public record of the entire action taken against him.
    Any news such as this should give sources of its information especially the local news the man spoke to, but that info isn’t in this story.
    Give us proof this story is true, something that can be verified, otherwise this story is fabricated to invoke fear. Don’t get me wrong; I’m very aware of evil tyrant government, but I’m sick and tired of their brainwashing tactics of fear.

  75. Roy
    May 11, 2012 at 5:07 am

    I’ve tried finding this story with Austin local news sources, but can’t find anything. Also if he’s filed a law suit, there should be a public record of it. In fact there should be a public record of the entire action taken against him.
    Any news such as this should give sources of its information especially the local news the man spoke to, but that info isn’t in this story.
    Give us proof this story is true, something that can be verified, otherwise this story is fabricated to invoke fear. Don’t get me wrong; I’m very aware of evil tyrant government, but I’m sick and tired of their brainwashing.

  76. Roy
    May 11, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Sorry! I re-read all the comments and saw the link to the story posted by another commenter. My bad.

  77. radmanfly
    May 11, 2012 at 7:02 am

    This was a practice drill for whats coming for every resident who is storing food, ammo, etc. Once the dollar falls, anyone who isn’t 90-110 lbs after 3-4 weeks will have their homes raided and food stocks confiscated. And all the neighbors homes emptied out for searching under the guise of “for your own safety”. Look up “3-39.40”

  78. Paul
    May 11, 2012 at 8:14 am

    We do not have constitutional rights. The United States is a corporate entity, our birth certificates are our agreement to be used as collateral for the national debt, and we are bound by adhesion contracts that we have not repudiated.

    The Law of Contracts governs us. We are not sovereign individuals but “persons” the same way corporate entities are “persons”.

    We are the victims of fraud and our relationship to the corporate United States is not the same as our relationship to the united States of America.

    If this sounds goofy, ask yourself: how can the government do to us what it does, most of which is flagrantly outside the box of the enumerated powers of the Constitution unless there is something going on that we are not aware of?

    There is a way out. There is a way to become a free individual, but it is not an easy process. It does begin with two steps. First, recognize that we are immersed in a new reality, and second, make the decision that we want to extricate ourselves from our complicit (by our silence) acceptance of our contractual obligations as “willing” participants in the contractual agreement.

    Of course it sounds nuts. Does it sound any crazier than what you see around you every day? Are you treated like the master or the servant? Are you treated like you are free or like you are the property of government? Does the government appear to act as though there are no constrictions on its power?

    Seek the truth. We are bonded servants, chattel. Our bodies, our blood, our sweat, our tears are collateral. Resist the tyranny without the knowledge of who you are and what the government has become and you will be labeled a terrorist.

    The truth will set you free. Don’t believe me or anyone else. Go digging. Be careful because both sides are full of kooks, including among those who profess what I am claiming. Make your own decision, but acknowledge that things are not what they seem to be or ought to be. That personal honesty opens the door to seeking and recognizing answers.

    The resolution is non violent. It is the way of truth and peace, but it is not without challenges. You must decide. Do you want the bliss and bondage of ignorance or the fruit and responsibilities of freedom?

  79. Some Girl
    May 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    the state/fed I thought had NO jurisdiction of the ground below your house or property? WHY would they do this unless there is something very close by they didn’t want you to have access to their underground tunnels, this is WEIRD!!!! Since when can you not make your own bunker or make anything on your own property?

  80. James Paul von Helton
    May 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Want the insanity to stop? Write my name in the President box this November or ask for a write-in ballot.

    Ron Paul will not stop this. He, like everyone else in DC, is a career politician. I know how to stop this, and I will.

  81. DontCopItUSA
    May 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Who gives a continental flying foxtrot as to whether Obama is Black, White, Yellow, Pink with Purple Polka Dots. The notion that passing a law that stifles tyranny cannot be made by a black person is pathetic. This was an Agenda 21 situation. If you haven’t learned yet what that is, I suggest you do. A21 is a communitarian effort to pass Rio’s objectives not from the federal level down, but from the reverse. It is implementing the UN on every country that signs to its wicked plans by way of treaty, convention or otherwise. The country only has to sign on the dotted line. Once done, presto you’re owned. If Obama was such a nice pleasant person, you wouldn’t be in the mess you’re in and he would have dislocated your hand from the UN. He hasn’t and won’t because the bottom line is he is a Communist/Fabian. Who gives a crap hat his colour is!

  82. Andrew Bulles
    May 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Isn’t Austin the city where all those Californians move to when they “just can’t stand it anymore” in CA? Then, they “get involved” in local politics and they infect Texas when a lower form of “California Idiocy.”


  83. I still can hardly believe this is happening in AMERICA. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! You only have privileges, not rights……you have to fight to keep everything you have, and they continuously change the laws to the point the average working Joe can’t keep up! Was this house a danger when it was a gov’t built bomb shelter? NO! It is gov’t fearing the people, the people are fed up with the gov’t! I hope some careers are ruined over this, and the old man gets enough money for his kids and grandkids to enjoy it! Damn the wreckless gov’t!

  84. Terry
    May 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    This is outrageous!
    Forget what side of the fence you are on this should scare everyone. Read your history these types of things have happened before.
    The government official who allowed this to happen should be forced to pay to have this man’s home restored to its original condition and not with tax payer’s money. All persons involved knowing the wrong they were doing should be held accountable. Put me on the jury.

  85. William Chlystun
    May 16, 2012 at 6:19 am

    If he was an illegal they would have given him keys to the city as someone who trying to protect his they cant understand why these supremists groups are growing

    May 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    i think its bullshit that u can’t do what u want on your own property, after u have worked all your life for it. they say we are a free country, its all a lie. i hope he wins his law suit

  87. Kelly
    May 20, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Can anyone say Communism? Wasn’t bad enough to fill it in, but then seize his property and send him a bill also. What outlandish (bleep) bs garbage. If the city, country or government was not doing this for some ulterior motive, they would have told him what law he broke, tell him it was a violation and give him so much time to fix it, not seize his property and destroy his life. Pray you win Mr. Del Rio, good luck and God bless, till they take my right to post that away too.

  88. Ken Brown
    July 23, 2012 at 2:42 am

    I lived in Austin, Tx for 3 years, and this article is very misleading. The “victim” here (Joe Del Rio) did not simply “renovate” an old bomb shelter. He was actively constructing an underground compound. There were multiple levels/stories, and a system of tunnels. He was caught because the neighbors noticed how much dirt he was hauling off from his property and started wondering where all that dirt was coming from. At the time he was caught, he had removed so much dirt that there actually was a danger of a sinkhole opening up and his home, or even a neighbor’s home, collapsing into the hole.

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