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An Ohio teacher was robbed at knife-point by a convicted felon — who had only been out of prison for 36 days — during a Zoom meeting with a student.
Amanda Zupancic, a special education teacher at Kirtland Local Schools, was alone at her Cleveland home on Nov. 23 when she heard glass shattering during a virtual session with a middle school student and his mother, she told WEWS.
“There was a man walking through my baby gate with a knife in his hand walking upstairs,” Zupancic recalled.
“He started threatening me, yelling at me, calling me names. He grabbed me upstairs into my bedroom.”
As the Zoom call was still ongoing, the knife-wielding man starting rifling through Zupancic’s belongings and grabbed watches and wedding rings, she told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“He was telling me, ‘Don’t move. Give me your wallet and keys,’” Zupanic said.
Zupancic, whose husband and 1-year-old had left just 20 minutes earlier, said she then led the armed intruder downstairs, where she unlocked a baby gate to release her two dogs: a German shepherd and a Great Dane-boxer mix.
As one of her pooches “went at him,” Zupancic took the split-second opportunity to grab a pair of scissors and chase the man to her front door, she told WEWS.
“I started chasing him with his pair of scissors, in my house shoes, down the street, yelling ‘help me, help me, this guy robbed me,” the shaken teacher recalled.
A contractor working nearby spotted Zupancic and tackled the suspect, later identified as Charles Derosett, and detained him until cops arrived, WEWS reported.
“I’m lucky that there’s enough loving people in the world to figure this all out,” she told the station.
Derosett, meanwhile, was indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury last week on charges of aggravated robbery and felonious assault.
He had been out of prison for 36 days prior to the alleged break-in, WJW reported. It is unclear why he was in prison.
It’s unclear if Derosett has hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf, ABC News reported.
“This individual needs to be taken off the street,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley told WJW. “Our county is not safe with him out again, he is out for 36 days and breaking into occupied homes. He needs to go back to prison.”
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