Residents of the Park East building in Adams Morgan, managed by Carmel Partners, came home yesterday evening to find an area in front of the building strewn with the belongings of now-former tenants. Residents say U.S. Marshals emptied at least three units. Diane Coates, who has lived in the building since 1984, said this was the first such eviction she could remember. “I haven’t seen this before, with all the stuff piled up,” she said.

One of the evictees, who declined to give her name, pleaded with two District police officers to help her carry off her microwave, photo album, toaster, desk, mattresses, and the rest of her pile. She argued that the cops have the resources to help. “I’ve seen those paddy wagons,” she said.

“They’re specifically for people to sit in when we transport them to jail,” said an officer. The woman then switched tactics and asked the officers to return with their personal vehicles when they were off duty. They declined and she walked away.

“I have a damn Ford Escort,” said one cop to the other.

Carmel Partners regional manager Carlyle Swafford says his company had no say in the all-at-once timing of the evictions. Though some Park East residents sympathized with the homeless tenants, they were also concerned that the area around their building might resemble a landfill. “What’s funny is they did all this landscaping last week. It must have cost them a couple grand and then they dump all this shit on it,” said Pete Mason, surveying the scene. “They knew this was coming down—bureaucracy at its finest.”