David Rosen
The No Trespassing signs are up and warn of video surveillance at the house on 41st Street SW where Jean and Byron Barton were arrested on Aug. 15. Jean was later released.

Barton family arrested; Vietnam vet and family taken away this morning by King County Sheriff

By Tim Clifford

CORRECTION:
In our coverage of the Barton family arrests we listed their son Brandon as being the son who was arrested with Jean and Byron. In actuality it was their other son Bryan who was detained by The King County Sheriff's office. The West Seattle Weekly would like to apologize to Brandon Barton and our readers for the mistake.

Original post

At 8 a.m. this morning the King County Sheriff’s office arrested the Barton family on charges of criminal trespass after serving a search warrant. While Byron, Jean and one of their adult sons has been arrested they have not been booked and the decision to charge them has been passed to the King County Prosecutor’s office.

Byron Barton, a Vietnam veteran who became disabled following complications from a stroke, was taken away by a waiting ambulance to a VA hospital.

In a statement from the King County Sheriff’s office John Urquhart said of the situation “there are no winners in this situation, not the least of which is Mr. Barton, who is gravely disabled and was living in extremely unsanitary and therefore dangerous conditions”.

The arrests come after a “writ of mandamus” was denied to Triangle Properties earlier this week in King County Superior Court. In the court’s denial of the petition recommendations for further action included filing to force the Sheriff’s department to successfully carry out the eviction.

“But Triangle Property Development, the lawful owner of the home, is a victim of bureaucratic inaction and back-and-forth finger-pointing between the City of Seattle and the Sheriff’s Office. That is inexcusable and that’s why I ordered today’s action. When politics is allowed to ride roughshod over the rule of law, everyone suffers. I was not willing to let that continue” said Urquhart of today’s arrests.

The Barton's attorney Jill J. Smith said she was surprised by the development and was still trying to get in touch with her clients. SAFE (the Seattle group who has come to the defense of the Barton family) said they were in the process of formulating a response.

More to follow as the story develops.

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