After a seven-month trip to New Zealand, a man returned home to Florida only to find that a man was squatting in his house.
On Friday, an unidentified homeowner in Ocala, Florida returned to his home after being away for seven months only to find his house had been burglarized and trashed. It was apparent that someone had been living there in his absence.
The homeowner decided to sleep in a closet to try and catch the suspected squatter himself and, at about 8 a.m., he awoke to his house alarm going off and a man looking into the closet he was in.
The two men began to argue about who owned the home, and the homeowner ended up using his handgun to fire a shot at the front door to try and scare off the squatter, who ended up fleeing the scene.
The alleged squatter, 26-year-old Ze’Moye Brown, called the police and said that he had been shot and that he owned the house he had been squatting in.
Brown was tracked down by Sheriff’s deputies and arrested.
When speaking to authorities, Brown said that he had been living in the home for “a few months” and claimed the house had been vacant for three years. He also claimed that the windows and doors to the house were unlocked when he first got there and denied stealing the items the homeowner reported missing.
Despite his insistence that the house was his, Brown was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
Brown was also charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and felony possession of a controlled substance without a prescription because police found methamphetamine and marijuana in his pockets during his arrest.
According to Ocala News, Brown initially told authorities that his name was ‘Jack Barnes,’ that he did not know his social security number, and that he was from Mississippi.
The accused squatter has a lengthy rap sheet, dating back to 2014. He has been arrested on grand larceny, resisting a police officer, and other trespassing charges.
Brown is now being held on a $4,000 bond.