Brooksville man makes 'home' on city property

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Brooksville Police Capt. Rick Hankins says officers busted a man who was in the process of building a "home" on city property.

Joseph Hawkins, 33, was charged with criminal mischief after being arrested on an outstanding warrant.

He was spotted near the intersection of Hale Ave. and Martin Luther King Blvd.

When police walked several dozen feet into the woods, they found - alongside a tent pulled over two fallen trees - a 2,400 cubic-foot hole, sculpted into a 20 by 20 square.

"He expressed to (the officers) that he was building a home," said Hankins. "Dig the hole, cover it up, and nobody would ever see it."

The "home" included support beams, partitians and even stacks of insulation ready to be snapped into place.

"(It's) very odd," said Hawkins.

Police say Hawkins is homeless.

"Now, we have to take the expense of about $6,000 to remove the debris, fill the hole in, and put the area back to its original state."

The only equipment police found here were a couple of buckets for dirt, a wagon, these work gloves and this spade.

"He spent a lot of time," said Hankins. "How long he has been out here, we don't know."

His best laid plans may have been come true, were it not for an arrest warrant.

"If it's not yours, we don't dig holes in the ground," said Hankins. "And we definitely don't try to erect houses."

He is charged with criminal mischief for destroying city owned property.

He also faces several drug charges and is being held in the Hernando Co. jail.