Squatters ravage Wyoming downtown with stomach-turning result: mayor
Homeless squatters in Casper, Wyoming, “destroyed” a local motel, which would require millions of dollars to repair, and left hundreds of pounds of human feces in the downtown area, according to the city’s mayor.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s third-world-country stuff happening in Casper, Wyoming,” Mayor Bruce Knell told the Cowboy State Daily last week.
Casper is Wyoming’s second-most populous city, with just shy of 60,000 residents while the city’s homeless population is about 200 people, according to Knell.
The mayor said homeless individuals moved into a vacant Econo Lodge motel and left it with millions of dollars of repairs. Others have moved into abandoned homes with no running water or electricity.
“They destroyed everything,” he said. “It’s horrible.”
The motel previously closed due to flooding and was taken over by homeless squatters who caused millions in damage, according to the mayor.
“It was inhabitable, and it was unsafe,” Knell said.
The property is now owned by a bank after foreclosure and has been boarded up. Meanwhile, squatters reportedly loitering in the downtown area of the city have left at least 500 pounds of human feces, the mayor said.
“We know very well we cannot litigate our way or arrest our way out of the problem, but our police need some teeth to start dealing with the squatting,” Knell told the outlet. “They’re just causing so many problems.”
The city council is considering the adoption of a new code to require suspected squatters to get written consent from a homeowner and setting limits on how long a person can camp on a property, no matter if they have permission.
“We know very well we cannot litigate our way or arrest our way out of the problem, but our police need some teeth to start dealing with the squatting,” Knell told the outlet. “They’re just causing so many problems.
The mayor told the outlet that the homeless squatters have likely contributed to some of the crime in the city.
“In desperate times people do desperate things, and unfortunately we’re the ones left having to deal with it,” he said.
Knell noted that the local homeless shelter is not the issue and instead laid blame on the homeless who have been kicked out of the shelter and those who can’t get in and then never leave Casper.
“There’s a certain part of the homeless population, whether substance abuse or mental illness, that is getting them to where they don’t want to conform to society’s rules,” Knell told the outlet. “When they do that, they’re not allowed to go in the shelter, which means they’re just out and about in our community raising hell.
The mayor noted that the homeless population, along with homeless people along the West Coast, want a home they can call their own.
“They’re tired of it, too,” Knell said.
The mayor didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.