The Ragin’ Cajuns

A homeless family was almost killed by a bulldozer which was clearing a homeless encampment. The husband, wife, and young daughter were sleeping when the machinery destroyed their makeshift home.

Fresh tracks in the dirt under the Westbank Expressway in Marrero are all that’s left of where Jacob Watson has lived for the past week.

“The house was built right here,” said Watson as he points to a spot in the dirt and gravel. “It was three pallets with a tarp over it.”

Those wooden pallets and tarp were how he and 25-year-old Ayla Toups sheltered from the cold. Friday morning, while asleep, heavy machinery destroyed it with them inside.

This was almost became an episode of Flat Stanley.

“We were in the claws. The pallets saved us, I guess,” said Watson. “She got the worst side because she was on the side he came in at.”

Surveillance video shows what appears to be Toups falling to the ground. According to the time stamp on that video, it took about a minute and a half before anyone noticed. Watson says that’s when someone finally hears them screaming.

The daughter was in surgery for six hours. Perhaps next time the workers can check to see if the shanty town is occupied before rolling the tanks in.

14 thoughts on “The Ragin’ Cajuns

  1. The “house” as he calls it, three pallets with a tarp thrown over it, must have excellent sound proofing ability, if you cannot hear the bulldozer bearing down on you, enough to wake you up!
    Also hard to believe they had no prior warning of what was coming.


  2. Plenty of blame on both sides of this tale. Squatters have no property rights, and must expect to be evicted at any time, but deserve fair notice of imminent eviction. No-notice eviction by a Bobcat is just asking for litigation by a legal storm.


  3. TXNick – Philly’s shelters have the same. It’s why there are so many homeless walking the streets.

    Mike AKA Proof – Wouldn’t surprise me, and some lawyer would snatch it up.


  4. Maybe start making betters choices so his “family” doesn’t have to sleep in a shanty. There’s plenty of help available for folks who are willing to accept a teeny bit of accountability..


  5. The shelters here require no smoking , drinking or drug use. Most don’t stay through the night…Most of the housing alternatives at least claim those standards, but the ones who try to enforce don’t keep ‘residents..’ Spokane was using their convention center as a warming center but had to close it because the “residents “did so much damage, that it had to closed for repairs, especially the bathrooms..


  6. The best solution to the “homeless” dilemma that I’ve seen is still depicted in the film “Seattle is Dying”. It takes effort, dedication, courage, commitment, enforcement and lots of money,


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