Police on Wednesday night arrested a 55-year-old homeless man who told them he’s been living in a widely discussed abandoned town-owned building on Richmond Hill Road for one month.
At about 9:27 p.m. on March 13, officers were dispatched to the “Mead Park Brick Barn” on a report that someone was inside the building with a flashlight, according to a police.
The 100-year-old structure is owned by the town and is to be demolished, as publicly noticed on a sign affixed to its exterior. The “Barn,” or “Richmond Hill Garage,” as some know it, is not open for public access, police said.
Arriving, officers found all exterior doors to be secured and didn’t see any flashlights inside, the report said. On issuing verbal commands for anyone inside to come out, the man opened the front door and exited the building, it said.
A subsequent search inside found a non-working toilet with human excrement inside it, a makeshift bed and bags of food, garbage and cigarette butts, police said.
The man told them he’d been living there for about one month, the police report said. He was charged with second-degree criminal trespass.
Police held the man on $250 bond and scheduled him to appear Thursday in state Superior Court in Norwalk.
New Canaan has debated the future of the Brick Barn for about 10 years, with historic preservationists advocating for its continuation and opponents—including some neighbors who have voiced concerns about vandalism—calling for its demolition. On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 to demolish the building following several months of efforts from preservationists to spare it.