BY Lorri Wickenhauser, The Western JournalJune 16, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 16, 2023
1 year ago

Man Thinks He's Got It Made Squatting in Empty Home, Then the Homeowner Arrives: Report

An Ocala, Florida, man returning from a seven-month overseas trip came home to a frightening situation, according to reports.

At first, the homeowner -- who was not identified in news reports -- thought his home had merely been broken into and burglarized, according to WOFL-TV.

That would have been bad enough.

But after reporting the incident to the Marion County Sheriff's Office on June 9, the man realized that the perpetrator might have actually been living in the home -- and might make a return appearance.

"In an attempt to catch the alleged squatter when he returned, the homeowner said he slept in a closet," the news outlet said, quoting a sheriff's office affidavit.

A burglar alarm went off around 8 p.m., and the homeowner saw a man looking into the room where he was lying down.

"The homeowner reportedly yelled at [the suspect] to get out of his house, and the two began to argue about who actually owns the house," WOFL reported.

The homeowner told the intruder to leave, and fired a shot into the front door.

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It was actually the alleged intruder, not the homeowner, who called police to complain that he was shot "by someone who claimed the house he was 'squatting' in was his," the news outlet reported.

 

Police arrested the alleged squatter, identified as Ze'Moye Brown on several charges -- including misdemeanor trespassing, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and felony possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, according to WOFL.

Officers searched Brown and found a rock-like substance was found in his pants pocket, which later tested positive for methamphetamine, and a small bag that tested positive for marijuana.

Brown told officers he had been living at the house for "a few months."

"He denied stealing the items the homeowner reported earlier in the day," the news station reported.


"He also said all the windows and doors were unlocked when he arrived and claimed the house was vacant for three years."

He was reportedly being held on $4,000 bond.

The Daily Mail reported that Brown has a criminal record dating to 2014, including arrests on charges of grand larceny, resisting a police officer and trespassing.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Lorri Wickenhauser, The Western Journal

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