An Orthodox Jewish woman was arrested and told to turn over her guns after reading the Constitution and peacefully protesting at a tax dispute forum, she told The Blaze.
Eileen Hart was with her husband Keith on Saturday at the Gloucester Community Center to dispute a mandatory home re-evaluation that would roughly double her property value, when things got out of hand.
As an Orthodox Jew, she had initially refused to have inspectors in her home when her husband was away at work. As an American citizen, she said she objected to the seemingly arbitrary reappraisal, noting that she is not planning on selling her home and hasn’t renovated her kitchen in 30 years.
But at the forum, Hart was allegedly told that since she didn’t let the inspectors into her home, the state has a right to “assume” its value.
How could they assume that my value had doubled when there is absolutely no housing market?” she asked The Blaze over the phone. “There is basically no GDP growth.”
After Hart started citing the Constitution, a representative of Appraisal Systems, Inc.– the company contracted by the state to conduct appraisals– started “freaking out,” she said, and called for New Jersey tax assessor Robyn Glocker-Hammond.
After a verbal scuffle Hart returned home to find a host of police cars waiting for her. Appraisal Systems, Inc. representative Andrew Colavecchio had apparently called 911 to say that Hart had threatened to return to the meeting with a gun.
But Hart told TheBlaze: “I did not use one curse word, I didn’t say the word gun, I didn’t swear, none of that. I aired my grievances in a public place to [tell] the government that I did not agree with what they were doing to me or to anybody else.”
Hart was taken in for questioning where police charged her with making “terroristic threats.”
Hart said the police sergeant informed her that if she didn’t turn over her firearms for “safe keeping,” her bail would be set prohibitively high and she would have to remain in custody. She then turned over her two firearms.
The county’s public information officer Deb Sellitto told The Blaze in an email, without any specifics, that Ms. Glocker-Hammond “has never experienced this type of extreme behavior from a taxpayer.”
The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Hart says she can’t help but recall the “massive gun registration [and] invasion of private property” that occurred when Hitler invaded Poland.
“If quoting the Constitution makes me a terrorist, we are in Hitler’s America,” she told The Blaze.
Andrew Colavecchio of Appraisal Systems, Inc. has not responded to The Blaze’s request for comment, and the company’s CEO Ernest Del Gurecio told them they plan to wait for all the facts before making a statement.