WEST HEMPSTEAD - A West Hempstead man whose home was torn down while he was in Florida to have knee surgery has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Town of Hempstead.

As News 12 Long Island has reported, Phillip Williams had been gone for several months after undergoing surgery in December 2014. He returned to West Hempstead in August 2015 and found everything destroyed, including his driveway. He had lived in the home for 69 years.

The town tore down the two-story cottage after neighbors complained. Officials said the home violated the town's code and was dilapidated.

Williams, a Navy veteran, said he lost off all of his belongings, including his late wife's engagement ring.