CEDAR HILLS, Utah, Sept. 25, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Three people are facing charges after authorities say they learned a couple was squatting in a home they’d previously been evicted from for owing the federal government more than $1 million in back taxes.
Seventy-five officers from multiple agencies, including the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, arrived to re-evict the couple Thursday, after they allegedly invited armed militia members to come over and help them fight off law enforcement, according to probable cause statements filed in the case.
The third person arrested had shown up after the Cromars’ request the statement said.
Charged are spouses Paul Kenneth Cromar and Barbara Ann Cromar, along with Tyson Holyoak, who also tried to enter the house, a Utah County Sheriffs’ statement says.
Paul Kenneth Cromar, 63, and Barbara Comar, 57, face identical charges of:
- Burglary/illegal entry of a building, a second-degree felony
- Wrongful appropriation, a third-degree felony
Paul Cromar’s bail was set at $15,020. Conditions also include that he stay 1,000 feet or more from the residence, possess no firearms while the case is pending, and have no contact — direct or indirect — with the present owners of the property; and do nothing and cause nothing to be done to interfere with the current owners’ enjoyment of the property.
Barbara Cromar’s bail was set at $5,000, and the same conditions were attached to her release. For both Cromars, any violation of the release conditions could result in the immediate revocation of bail.
Tyson Holyoak, 36, faces charges of:
- Criminal trespass, a class A misdemeanor
- Interference with arresting officer, a class A misdemeanor
His bail was set at $3,500, with the same conditions attached as were set for the Cromars.
Sale and signage
The Cromars were evicted from the Meadow Drive house on Aug. 18 of this year. The eviction came after the U.S. government’s forced sale of the property to pay tax debt, the probable cause statement says.
The residence was purchased by new owners, who discovered the Cromars had illegally moved back in, court documents say.
“Paul Kenneth and Barbara Cromar have posted signage around the home that
display, ‘Caution United States Land Patent Part and Parcel of #392,’ ‘No
Trespassing,’ and a document that provides circumstances that the property can
be entered,” the probable cause statement says.
Three large green signs were posted near the home, the statement says. They state: “Land Patent Victory! NO lawful challenge by anyone within 60 days to our patent contact in any Article III court. DONE! Thank you Pres. Grover Cleveland’s 1887 Signature.”
“On June 26, 2020, Ken Cromar posted on Facebook the same signs and stated, ‘CONGRATULATIONS to our Cromar family, law and order, contracts, Superior Land Patents, and especially We The People!'” the probable cause statement says.
“It continues to say, ‘Special THANKS to President Grover Cleveland and his 1887 signature in behalf of the United States, securing our contract unchallenged in any Constitutional Article III court, in behalf of our ‘heirs and assigns forever.’
“In the same post a person asks, ‘Does that mean you are back in your home?’
Ken Cromar replies “Been back since April 23. It is and has, and will always
remain our house-until we say otherwise-despite attempted FRAUD and SWINDLE in
dishonor by the courts who voided their own authority.”
Cromar also posted a video on his YouTube channel in which he was confronted by police officers at the residence, the statement says.
“The officers told him that the property was owned by the US government and he replied that the property belonged to him. The officers asked him how he got into the property after the locks were changed and he told him that it was not their concern.”
“According to sources close to the Cromars, the Cromars reached out to a Utah Constitutionalist organization for help,” the probable cause statement continues. “The Cromars enlisted members of an armed militia group and they were observed outside of the residence with firearms on several occasions.
“Paul Cromar composed comments on a Facebook page indicating he was going to protect his property and scaring away law enforcement. Cromar invited several members from an armed militia to come to his house to protect him.”
At about 6:35 p.m., the reporting officer said he responded to the intersection of West Cedar Hills Drive and 4160 West, “to assist on the service of a Surround and Callout search warrant,” the probable cause statement says.
“Information was relayed to me on scene that a male later identified as Tyson Holyoak attempted to gain access to the residence of 9870 N. Meadow Drive by trespassing through the property of a neighbor of the target residence by entering that neighbors property and jumping over a fence to gain access to the target house.”
SWAT officers working in the area “had to divert their attention, resources, and manpower to contact and place Holyoak in handcuffs just prior to reaching the residence,” the statement says. “I later spoke with Holyoak, advised him of his rights per Miranda and he stated he understood and consented to speak with me. I asked Holyoak why he was attempting to gain access to the residence and he stated he was contacted by a male in the residence that identified himself as Cowboy Hat and he was told to respond to the residence.”
Holyoak said he parked a couple blocks away before trying to access the residence.
“When asked why, he stated that he responded because of the phone call from Cowboy Hat and he wanted to help. Holyoak later stated that he wanted to video record from the inside of the residence.”
Court documents say officials believe “the Cromars and the militia members will return to the residence as soon as they are released and there is a likelihood of violence and/or damage to the property.”