CLEVELAND – The morning of November 23rd began like any other for Amanda Zupancic. She is a special education teacher at Kirtland Local Schools. At around 11 a.m., in her third grade, she was in a meeting with a middle school student and his mother zooming in the upstairs office in her West Cleveland home.
It was suddenly interrupted with a loud noise.
“I heard a glass shatter downstairs,” she said. “I thought wait, I think someone is breaking into my house and just kidding. I didn’t think anyone would break into my house in the middle of the day, ”she said.
But that’s exactly what happened.
“There was a man who went through my baby gate with a knife in hand and went up the stairs,” said Zupancic. “He started threatening me, yelling at me and calling me names. He packed me up in my bedroom. “
The man kept rummaging through their things while Zupancic’s students and family were still on that Zoom call, listening from Lake County.
On 911, you can hear the student’s father trying to explain the situation. “The teacher who teaches my son, someone broke into her house, we zoomed in,” the student’s father told a Lake County dispatcher.
When the robber was desperate for valuables, the father gave the dispatcher as much detail as possible.
“I think she heard the man say, ‘Get on the floor. I’ll cut your throat, “he said.
Zupancic told the man he could have her car keys, but they were downstairs. He agreed that she could get them. She said instead of getting the keys, she let her two dogs out.
“When I reached for my keys, I opened the gate instead and I have a German Shepherd and a Great Dane-Boxer mix. So the German Shepherd stood between me and this guy, and the Great Dane Boxer mix went after him, ”she said.
It gave her enough time to think.
“I just took a pair of scissors and chased him to the front door,” she said.
She kept chasing him down her street.
“I started chasing him down the street with those scissors in my slippers yelling, ‘Help me, help me, this guy robbed me,” she said.
Zupancic said a local contractor who was working on a house in her neighborhood saw the encounter and knocked the man to the ground and arrested him until Cleveland police arrived.
When they got there, they arrested Charles Derosett.
Derosett is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated assault and other charges. He is a convicted criminal who was previously behind bars for serious robbery.
Zupancic is still shaken. But put between the parents of their students, their dogs, their neighbors, and casual strangers, there are more heroes than villains in this story.
“I am happy that there are enough loving people in the world to find out all of this.”