Man with disability finds belongings in trash after storage facility's mistake
WATSON - Johnny Walters is about to turn 29 years old, but his size and stature resemble more of a 12-year-old—Walters was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder called Cat Eye Syndrome. He's blind, deaf, has heart issues and developmental delays.
His family was preparing to move out of their Watson home last month and rented a space at Simply Self Storage on Highway 16 in April. That's where their nightmare began.
"Came back five or six days later and there was a different lock on the door," John Walters, Johnny's dad, said. "So, I went up front and she thought we were in a different unit. She came back and cut the unit... and all the things were gone. Turns out they double booked the unit. She admitted to it."
Many of the items were discarded, like thousand of dollars worth of braille books that Johnny loved to read.
"About 30 of them," Walters said. "He would look through them. He can read braille. You put him on the elevator with braille and he can tell you the numbers and floor and all that."
The Walters have always tried to keep their son happy, but they have not been able to get him to understand that his expensive books are now gone.
The Walters got in touch with the people who rented the storage facility after them. Part of a text message that family sent them reads, "...I will be taking up this matter with Simply Self Storage next week as this is an unacceptable circumstance that could have been avoided with proper management."
WBRZ spoke to an employee at Simply Self Storage. That employee said they are sorry it happened and tried to make it right. She said the owners were out of town before the line disconnected.
"If they want to be a stand-up business, they need to apologize, admit that they messed up. As far as the rental agreement, if there's $2,000 in rental insurance, it's more than that—they should make us whole," Walters said.
The Walters said they tried to file a report with the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, but LPSO would not take it, calling this a civil matter.