Exclusive: Village destroys woman's backyard, says it's justified

Kristin Thorne Image
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
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Kristin Thorne has an exclusive story about a Long Island woman and her damaged backyard in Freeport.

FREEPORT, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island woman has filed a notice of claim against the Village of Freeport, alleging it denied her right to due process when it ripped up her backyard and destroyed $75,000 worth of pavers.

Veda Daughtry-Hinkson has lived at her home on Putnam Avenue for the past 20 years. She said approximately 15 years ago she put up a new fence in her backyard, which butts up against the water district for the village.

Daughtry-Hinkson didn't get a permit for the fence and had to pay several fines.

Village inspectors at that time did a survey of her property and noted that her fence encroached on village property. Daughtry-Hinkson showed Eyewitness News a land survey from 2015 that showed the approximately 6-foot by 80-foot section of property belongs to her.

A State Supreme Court judge decided in 2016 that the land belonged to the village. The village said it sent a number of notices to Daughtry-Hinkson's attorney informing her that if she didn't remove the part of her back patio that was on village property, crews would come in to remove it. Daughtry-Hinkson said her attorney for the Supreme Court case was no longer her attorney at that point, so she never received the notices.

Crews came in and demolished the portion of her back patio leaving a chain link fence in its place.

"I spent $150,000 fixing this yard up. They just came along and destroyed it," Daughtry-Hinkson told Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne in an exclusive interview.

Her attorney, Chauncey Henry, says that if the village doesn't pay her back within the next month, he will pursue the case in federal court.