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Mystery Man Paid To Have Home Razed, Contractor Says

January 20, 1988

DALLAS (AP) _ A contractor says he apparently was duped by a man who paid him $750 to demolish a home the man claimed he owned.

Rod Luedtke, a partner in Reliable Wrecking Inc., said Tuesday a man who identified himself as Ray Stone contacted him last week, said he owned the $46,000 home in southeast Dallas and wanted it razed.

But the owner of the home says he never authorized anyone to demolish the home he had been renting and planned to sell.

Luedtke’s crew obtained a signed demolition contract and razed the three- bedroom house Thursday, taking 30 minutes to bulldoze the structure into a 3-foot mound of rubble.

The the real owner learned Saturday his house was in shambles.

Dallas County deed records show Judd Barner, 47, of Garland, owns the property. Barner said he leased the house until six weeks ago, when he evicted the tenants for not paying their rent.

The man who identified himself as Stone called again on Monday ″and said not to worry, that he owned the property,″ Luedtke said.

″I also got a call from Mr. Barner, who says he’s the owner and that he doesn’t know this other man (Stone),″ Luedtke said. ″The whole situation is pretty weird right now.″

Luedtke said the man identified as Stone had assured him that he had obtained the required demolition permit from the city, but Luedtke said he had not seen it and normally does not ask to see the permit. He said it was the legal responsibility of the building owner to get a permit.

City building official Al Olson said demolition permits are not granted without the signature of the property owner and that Reliable Wrecking could be cited and fined up to $1,000 for failing to ensure that a permit was obtained.

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