we'll smoke the blighter out

Homeowner Teargassed, Shot During Eviction Process, Realtor Finds It Hilarious

all in a day's work

When a person is forced to leave his home because, probably, he was unaware that he was being ripped off by Fannie Mae, the authorities sometimes have to take it upon themselves to eradicate said homeowner like so many elusive cockroaches. In the case of Bruce O’Rando from St. Ann, Missouri, police decided to tear gas the 51-year-old man out of his home. O’Rando barricaded himself in the house, and once tear gas was brought into the mix, he began firing at police officers. The officers fought back, shooting the man in the elbow, maiming him to such a degree that they could successfully remove him from the house and take him to a hospital. Now we’re going to realtor Mark Harder to get a local’s perspective on this shiteous situation. Harder: “I guess he wasn’t too excited about the HUD cash for keys program…or maybe he wanted more cash from his keys.” OK, never mind, get this guy out of here.

According to St. Ann TV station KMOV, Fannie Mae apparently began the foreclosure process on this house back in March. The man lived alone and was employed as a fence builder “but for some reason stopped making mortgage payments,” like maybe because the terms of his mortgage had mysteriously changed? And his mother had recently died. O’Rando is now both evicted from the home he’d lived in his entire life (that is to say, he’s homeless), and he’s been charged with felony possession of a handgun, three counts of “armed criminal action,” and three counts of first-degree assault on a police officer. Well done, St. Ann PD!

Harder, of Prudential Alliance Realtors, took to Facebook to say how he really felt about the matter. Someone “friends” with Harder had the decency to respond, all-caps steez, with this, sharing our sentiments exactly:

Related video

REALLY? YOU HAVE A LOT OF NERVE. YOU PROBABLY MAKE BOO-COO MONEY OFF PEOPLE LIKE THIS.

UPDATE: A story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes O’Rando’s brother as saying that O’Rando isn’t actually the owner of the home at all, that he was just squatting there. But this hasn’t been confirmed by anyone else.

[KMOV via our tipline]

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About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville

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134 comments

  1. Callyson

    The Facebook link goes to a "This content is currently unavailable" message. Guess this asshole isn't laughing now…

      1. Callyson

        Oh, I'm not excusing this guy's actions about shooting at cops, by any means. But Harder's making fun of the situation, OTOH, is pretty effed up…

      2. Dashboard Buddha

        "I don't think he was aiming," Schrader added. "Just the fact that he did this elevated the whole situation to red."

        And before that, the cop's teargas elevated it to bright orange.

        1. actor212

          Yea, but read the brother's comments about Bruce. Apparently, he's what you might call a "hothead" and was well known to the cops as a…difficult person.

      3. scvirginia

        I can't help thinking both O'Rando's have some relational problems with older bro resenting Mama O taking care of Bruce for 50 years- sheltering him, making sure he shows up to his fence-building jerb on time, etc. The whole thing is sad.

  2. Schmannnity

    I guess the housing market has not reached bottom if teargas is now a foreclosure tool.

    1. Biff

      But bullet holes in the walls and the smell of teargas in the carpet and drapes is gonna make that house a bit more difficult to sell, I think.

  3. Callyson

    O’Rando remains in custody on $100,000 bond.

    Meanwhile, Jamie Dimon, Tony Haward, and James O'Keefe are all free to go where they please…

    As Marlon Brando said, "law and justice are at best distant cousins and in this country they are not even on speaking terms."

    1. Callyson

      Let's settle someplace warm and sunny, please, preferably near the ocean.

      Although at this point I'm not so picky, especially if this country is stupid enough to elect Mittens…

      1. James Michael Curley

        I always thought I may go back to the Baja some day. But now there are so many old Californians there I doubt it. Maybe if they elect Ken Layne mayor.

        1. actor212

          For my part, I've got my eye on a small Caribbean country that no one would ever bother with, since it's basically meaningless, has a shitty port and exports nothing except salt.

          1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

            Salt is going to be super important when civilization and refrigeration both end. Good idea.

          2. actor212

            Oh.

            Oh shit. I hadn't thought of that. I need to find a place that exports sewage.

            Which I guess brings me back to California.

          3. prommie

            Ya wanna go someplace where they still live a subsistence life, they will have nowhere to fall when it all falls apart, you know? Someplace where they haven't forgot to do it by hand. You know you can buy a small old cruise ship for under a million, I am thinking that mobility, and being able to fish and farm at sea and move about, this could all work. You can even find huge sailing vessels, work for a commune for a dozen couples or so. Who's in?

          4. BigSkullF*ckingDog

            Sailboat sounds good, then you aren't reliant on non-existent fuel. A few years without commercial fishing and I think most of the oregon, washington, bc and alaskan coasts will be teeming with seafood again, plus mild weather. None of those pesky hurricanes like the east coast. I'm in!

          5. redarmyzombie

            Maybe we can make a little extra if we photoshopped Reagan's head to a video game character and sold posters of it?

          1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

            What do you think the GPM of that thing is? That's gallons per mile, as owners of large boats refer to it. You're pretty much adrift without a reliable source of fuel.

    2. mormos

      what, you think you can't be evicted from a commune? That's Lehman land son, no you don't need to see the papers. Move or be gassed. Then shot. Then gassed again.

      1. redarmyzombie

        Well, hopefully the guillotine will have taken care of that problem by then.

        If not, then surely the Zombies will be coming around by then…

  4. niblick77

    Anybody find out what the bank is asking for the property on the foreclosure market?

  5. SayItWithWookies

    Real estate agents are getting awfully uppity now that their profession is increasingly unnecessary. You know when your response to the internet is to insist that your profession be capitalized and called Realtor rather than real estate agent you're in deep shit.

    1. not that Radio

      To make matters worse, it's the only profession where they still insist on putting photographs of themselves on their business cards. Well, maybe strippers, too.

      1. Biff

        And why not? I've always chosen my Realtor® by their appearance, just like my politicians.

    2. didgen

      Realtors are running an ad here that claims higher test scores for students can be attributed to your local realtors. The connection is a tad sketchy to me, I believe living in a house and having food on the table are pluses but I'm going to give the kids the credit… realtors? Not so much.

  6. actor212

    Now, I'm not one to persuade people to violence, even if this post makes me feel all stabby, but it would be a damned shame if something happened to Harder's dog or SUV or some such.

    I wouldn't want to make his life any Harder, you know?

    TIED: Y'know what? This is a teachable moment. Maybe we could start a collection for the guy and pay his back balance a little? Or suggest one of the heavyweights in Blogtopia (© Skippy) could pick up the mantle and get some of that Soros money over to this poor soul?

    RE-TIED: Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, maybe not so much…

    1. ttommyunger

      The dog should suffer? I would like to fuck up the owner. I would fuck up anybody I caught poisoning a dog, just sayin…

  7. prommie

    Off motherfucking topic, but when the fuck is gonna be the New Fucking Jersey Wonkettogether? Fucking world is clearly coming to an end soon, and I will not be waiting for this, you understand? Atlantic City is a veritable holocaust-tsunami of glorious hitlerian bad taste, which it can't help not, what with Jersey and all. Lets go, make with the festivity-event.

    1. DonnyKerabotsos

      Prommie is right…and none of this north Jersey bullshit, either. Anything north of Princeton is just a suburb of New York. South of that, suburb of Philly.

      Atlantic City=suburb of Hell.

      1. James Michael Curley

        Let's make it Atlantic City. Then we can all take one of those Senior Citizen, free roll of nickels, coupon for the hot dog buffet bus trips.

        1. prommie

          Fuck yah! I can catch a free bus half a mile from my house and get $20 for the slots, too, its insanely stupid.

      2. prommie

        "Atlantic City=suburb of Hell." This is beautiful. It should be the new marketing slogan. Just surrender to the awfulness and Revel in it!

  8. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    So, in the next few weeks, what will the Republican Congress do, Mortgage reform and refinancing, or tax cuts for the rich?

    I think I will not hold my breath on this one.

    1. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

      "Think of how the neighborhood is more frightened because this hooligan took a pot-shot at the fine men and women officers in blue. He just ruined the integrity and sanctity of a very nice place to live in Amercia."

  9. EatsBabyDingos

    Only one letter from St Ann to SATAN! Parenthetically, thank you churchladymeds.com.

    1. Dashboard Buddha

      “I guess he wasn’t too excited about the HUD cash for keys program…and Briebart is still dead."

      Better?

  10. flamingpdog

    O’Rando is now both evicted from the home he’d lived in his entire life (that is to say, he’s homeless)

    If and until he can come up with the $100,000 bond, I don't think he's homeless.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      I'm sure some bank will lend him the $100,000 on great terms (interest only at first, then the rates go up later, and then there's a balloon payment …)

      How long before Golden Sacks bundles bail bonds into collateralized obligations, and Wall St. starts peddling third-order derivatives? It's going to be the only growth industry left, once the 1% finally get 100% of everything.

  11. coolhandnuke

    Irony?…that a fence builder was shot during an eviction. After all, the rich, the politicians and their agents of enforcement have been building walls,prisons and fences around us for thirty years.

    1. OneYieldRegular

      And then they always get Robert Frost completely backwards by claiming that "Good fences make good neighbors."

  12. EatsBabyDingos

    Consent of the governed at the business end of a barrel of a gun is not consent.

  13. OneYieldRegular

    His family had the home for 69 years and still owed on it?

    I am never buying a house.

    1. chicken_thief

      There is a lot missing from these early reports – like why the house was in probate and why the siblings didn't want to deal with Bruce themselves.

      1. actor212

        Probate is generally done on all inheritances unless it's below a threshold, and since the mom just died a few months ago, even if the will was not being contested, probate was probably still going on.

        A 70 year old house is probably going to exceed the minimum for probate, which is generally like $35,000 or so.

        If you read the UPDATE article, it's clear that this guy had anger issues and was a bit of a troublemaker.

  14. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    When will these dummies learn? All they have to do is tie a string to a five dollar bill, put it on the doorstep and then lure him down front walk with it. So much simpler than teargas and gunfire.

    1. chicken_thief

      Or simply cut off his access to internet porn. He'd be out the door on his way to the cable company in a heart beat.

  15. Billmatic

    Hey, it sucks that it went this far but I'm a little confused why I am supposed to be sympathetic? I mean when you don't pay your mortgage isn't this is what happens?

    I mean maybe I'm wrong about this but I think the fundamental error in the housing market is that people think they own the house, when really the bank owns the house and you just pay them back for it until it becomes yours. Altercations like this happen all the time because the homeowner thinks they have rights to the house when they absolutely do not. And I know banks make bad loans all the time to people who can't afford to buy houses, like people who think professional fence builder is a career, but the person taking the loan does have some degree of responsibility to their own bad decision, you feel me?

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    1. actor212

      Most evictions don't result in gunfire and most realtors don't mock the poor guy afterwards on Facebook

      Apart from that….

      1. Billmatic

        The realtor is the most obviously and indefensibly wrong, but I'd reserve my judgement about a small town PD. I mean, I worked in asset management for a little bit and people getting evicted can be incredibly mean and belligerent because they were misled about the entire process by realtors and banks, and our culture in general. Like lots of folks these days, they construct their own interpretation of reality and resist any attempt by anyone to show them the facts.

        It was really quite amazing how often people would stop paying their mortgage, stay at the house, and then resist any and all attempts at contact as if that was going to save them and their house, and it always ends up with police having to remove them from the property. They think the house is theirs, but it never was.

    2. Biff

      Even after you pay off the mortgage, you can still get evicted. Try not paying the property taxes for a few years.

    3. ifthethunderdontgetya

      …but the person taking the loan does have some degree of responsibility to their own bad decision, you feel me?

      No.

      Not when the banksters making the bad loans paid themselves many fortunes for same, took down the economy, and have "paid" for their bad decisions by being bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of $trillions.

      P.S. I was an underwriter (commercial real estate, not single family). The professionals made the cynical decisions, and the guys who could not understand what a "variable rate loan with terms that guarantee the resets down the road will be unaffordable" means are the ones paying the price.
      ~

      1. Billmatic

        First of all I think that the banks deserve the lion's share of the blame and that the US Govt. should have bailed out the homeowners rather than the banks but I'm sorry, I don't sign things I don't understand.

    4. Estproph

      You're wrong. When you buy a house with a mortgage, the title gets registered in your name, not the bank's. You are the one who owns the property. The bank will have a lien on that property, but legally you are the owner.

      1. Billmatic

        I understand that's the legal definition but not practical reality. If you can have the property taken from you and "repossessed" by the bank that owns the loan then all of this legalese is deliberate deception.

        You can't own something you didn't pay for.

        1. didgen

          Twelve years ago when my husband and I decided on a home to buy, we endured three days of pressure from the realtor to look at more expensive homes. His rationales went from look at your incomes, you "deserve" better, to him telling my husband that I would prefer a nicer home. Then after he gave up on that line, he pivoted smoothly to th benefits of ARM's. I am thankful everyday we stuck with our plans, but I see how people we taken in.

        2. Estproph

          Valid point, and I do agree with it, but it is more complicated than that. For example, I own my house, but have a mortgage. I can be foreclosed by the bank if I screw up or they're assholes, but the bank really doesn't own my house, since they can't make any decisions about it. They can't come over and cut down a tree in my back yard, or hold a garage sale inm y driveway, or have their employees sleep in the spare room. Really, the only thing they can do is have it repossessed under certain conditions, and even that is limited by the Homestead Act. Granted, that's plenty as it is.

      2. George Skullfry

        Strictly speaking, the title is split You have many of the rights of ownership (including the right to pay the property taxes), but the bank retains bare legal title, which is how come they can foreclose on you rather than just place a lien.

      1. Oblios_Cap

        only the "little people" are supposed to pay their obligations. Our betters just incorporate, declare bankruptcy and leave their creditors holding the bag.

  16. Wonderthing

    Goshdanged people took out loans (that were usually pushed on them and misrepresented) they couldn't pay off (but that didn't stop the vultures from feeding off the carcass for a while). Who do they think they are, corporate banks? Get too big to fail or…fail. And get shot. You live in America. Land of the Brie, Home of the Rave!

  17. anniegetyerfun

    A friend of mine recently found someone squatting in a home that she had moved out of but was trying to sell. Her realtor didn't think it was an important detail to pass along ("Perhaps people don't want to buy your house because of the homeless man urinating in the sink."). This really isn't directly related to this story, but I thought I would share anyway.

  18. BarackMyWorld

    St. Ann, MO, is in between St. Louis (KMOV is a St. Louis TV station) and St. Charles, which is also near St. Peters and St. John.

    I have no idea who got to name that side of the state, but I am definitely noticing a theme.

    1. Biff

      Wonder if the cities were named before or after the Latter Day Saints made their way through?

      1. Schmannnity

        Before. Lewis and Clark left from St. Charles. Sorry, Missouri history was required in high school.

    2. freddymcmurray

      The French were way back in the 1600s. Then there were two waves of Germans in the 1800s, which is what a lot of the rest of the area consists of. Yes, we have a lot of "St." towns in St. Louis, and yes, we have a ton of street names that are (mispronounced) French names, and yes the city's flag has a fleur de lis' pattern on it, and yes we have a fair amount of French architecture to be found here, but ultimately, most of the area is filled with assholes like the Busch clan and evil-doers like Monsanto. There are good people here, but ugh, St. Louis is a blue town in a red state. You can thank us for crap like Dred Scott. (who only just this week got his own statue). And you can also look at the last prez election and see that when even states like Indiana were falling to Obama, MO held its ground and still voted for Grifter Girl and Load-in-his-Pants™. Ii've lived here a long time, but as soon as I can save up enough money, I'm gonna say "so long stink town" toot suite.

  19. chascates

    This would have actually been hilarious if it involved a convention of realtors being tear gassed out of the hotel bar.

  20. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    It sounds like he shot at the cops first and in my opinion anyone who shoots at cops deserves a lot more than being shot in the elbow. This guy is not a victim or a hero, he is a violent asshole.

    1. poorgradstudent

      For me at least this story just embodies 21st century America so perfectly: poverty, American exercising 2nd Amendment liberties, poverty again, and callous indifference to a symptom of crumbling empire disease.

    1. prommie

      Jet skis, motorcycles, and quads! Vacations and college tuition! There's lots a shit people mortgage the farm for, these days.

  21. poorgradstudent

    "What's happened to America? What's happened to the American dream?"
    "It came true. You're looking at it!"

    1. doloras

      In the Watchmen universe, according to the recent "sequel", President Gore is apparently nearing the end of his third term, so there's that.

  22. coolhandnuke

    A wannabee cop (George Zimmerman) murders a black teen and $200k is contributed online to his defense fund. Wonder if anyone will donate a dime to assist this guy who shot at cops.

  23. BlueStateLibel

    Has anyone ever met a REALTOR that didn't make the hair stand up on the back of their necks? I guess skanks got to work too though.

  24. ttommyunger

    Sounds like a win-win: Banks have their piece of shit property, which they don't really want. Realtor has his l5 seconds of fame/infamy. Cops get to shoot and maim some deranged turd. Criminal lawyers, State's Attorneys and Judges get to ply their trade. Foreclosure Attorneys make a bundle. Perp gets three hots and a cot, and at 51, I'm figuring; for life. Private Prison Bloodsucking Corporation makes big bucks serving perp hobo beans and denying him basic healthcare until he croaks….USA, USA!

  25. pdiddycornchips

    Harder is a dick. So, if you want to buy or sell a home in St. Ann's MO. See the dick that's Harder.

  26. lochnessmonster

    I still think there is something missing from this story…he stopped paying in March and is kicked out in June…that is mighty quick.

  27. Abernathy

    Second Amendment solutions, FTW (almost)! Somebody get this guy a job in the Romney administration.

  28. Lazy Media

    Yeeeeeaaaahhhhhh….As much as I sympathize with people who have been cheated out of their homes by banksters, once you hole up and shoot at the poh-leese, you're pretty much in the people I'd like to see get shot crowd.

  29. Negropolis

    God, I hate seeing "updates."

    You're slipping Wonkette. You need to bring somebody in for quality control.

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