City says Huntsville couple can't live 'off the grid'
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville man joined the military to fight for our rights, but now he says his own rights are being threatened.
Tyler Truitt and his girlfriend Soraya Hamar are currently living within city limits but without city utilities.
Huntsville officials said that's not allowed. The city filed a lawsuit against Truitt and Hamar, calling their self-sufficient lifestyle unsafe.
The couple says they'd rather be arrested than leave their land.
"We live out here off the grid, 100 percent self-sustaining," Truitt said. "So I basically made all my utilities: I have my solar panels, I have my rainwater collection and stuff."
The city doesn't see that as a good thing.
"They say our house is a trailer, which is not allowed in city limits," Truitt said.
City officials also took issue with Truitt's off-the-grid lifestyle.
"They came and they condemned our house and told us if we stayed here we'd be arrested for trespassing on our own property, and the reason why is, they said, it was unsafe living conditions because we don't have city utilities hooked up," Truitt explained.
The former military member says he just wants the freedoms he swore he'd protect.
"I took an oath that I would support and defend the constitution and the freedoms that entails, and I really feel like those are being trampled upon," Truitt said.
Truitt is prepared to fight for his property. "You have to stand up for what you believe in. They could come out here today if they wanted to and take us to jail for trespassing if that's what they want to call it and, you know, that'd be fine with me. I'll still come back the next day and the next day and the next day because it's my home and because I live here. Where else am I supposed to go really?"
We reached out to Huntsville Utilities and Huntsville City Attorney Peter Joffrion. So far, neither have responded.
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