Special-education teacher is robbed at knifepoint during Zoom call with student – but she turns the tables on her attacker by chasing him with scissors
- Amanda Zupancic, 32, from Ohio, was teaching a private class online when suspect named as Charles Derosett broke into her Cleveland home
- Zupancic said Derosett forced her to lie on bedroom floor and threatened to cut her throat with a knife as he ransacked her home
- After she offered to give the intruder her car keys, Zupancic let her two dogs, a German shepherd and a Great Dane mix, loose on him
- Teacher then grabbed scissors and chased the suspect out the front door and down the street, where he was tackled to the ground by a Good Samaritan
- Derosett, 43, had been released from lockup just 36 days prior to the November 23 burglary at Zupancic’s home
An Ohio special-education teacher was conducting a class via Zoom when a burglar armed with a knife broke into her home and attacked her.
But the suspect, identified as convicted felon Charles Derosett, proved no match for Amanda Zupancic and her two dogs, Lady and Wellington.
The incident began unfolding at around 11am on November 23, while Zupancic, 32, was in an upstairs office at her home on Baltic Road in Cleveland conducting a private online lesson with a middle school student and his mother when she heard glass shattering downstairs.
Zupancic, who works at Kirkland Local Schools, jokingly told her student’s mother that someone was breaking into her house, unaware that was exactly what was happening.
Amanda Zupancic, 32, from Ohio, was teaching a private class on Zoom on November 23 when an intruder armed with a knife broke into her Cleveland home
Zupancic, whose husband and baby had just left the house 20 minutes earlier, went downstairs to investigate the noise and came face-to-face with an intruder armed with a knife walking through a baby gate at the foot of the staircase leading up to the second floor.
‘He started threatening me, yelling at me, calling me names,’ Zupancic told News 5 Cleveland. ‘He grabbed me upstairs into my bedroom.’
The suspect, later identified as Derosett, began ransacking the teacher’s home, stealing watches and wedding rings, while her student and his mother were still listening in on the Zoom call.
The boy’s father called 911 from his home in Lake County, telling the dispatcher he that his wife has heard the burglar yell at their son’s teacher: ‘Get on the floor, I am going to cut your f***ing throat.’
Zupancic said she told the attacker he could have her car keys, but they were downstairs. He agreed to let her retrieve them, but the quick-thinking educator instead let her two dogs, a German shepherd and a Great Dane-boxer mix, loose on him.
Charles Derosett, 43, was arrested on aggravated robbery and felonious assault charges after Zupancic chased him with scissors
‘So the German shepherd stood between myself and this guy, and the Great Dane-boxer mix went at him,’ she said.
While the robber was fending off the dogs, Zupancic grabbed a pair of scissors and chased the unwelcome guest to the front door.
She continued pursuing the knife-wielding man down the street in her slippers while yelling for help.
A contractor who was working on a nearby house heard the teacher’s cries for help, tackled the suspect to the ground and held him down until police arrived to arrest him.
Derosett was indicted last week on charges of aggravated robbery and felonious assault.
The 43-year-old is a convicted felon who previously served time for aggravated robbery. At the time of the home invasion, he had been out of jail just 36 days.
‘This individual needs to be taken off the street,’ Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley told WJW. ‘He needs to go back to prison.’