Three men and one woman, all from Jacksonville, were stopped minutes after an armed robbery Sunday night at an adult game room in Yulee, according to Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper. Three are in jail and one is recovering after being shot by a security guard,
According to the incident report, the suspects had on masks when they entered the arcade on State Road 200 near Interstate 95 about 7 p.m. When one of the robbers pointed a gun at a female security guard, she fired twice.
“She was walking into a break room when he ran toward her, pointed the gun right at her face,” Leeper said. “She was in fear she was going to be killed so she pulled her gun and shot him. Shot him in the arm and, as he turned, in the butt area.”
The gunmen took off but were quickly stopped and arrested by deputies.
The driver, Ebony Hixon, 29, along with Damani Zvobogo, 19, and Josiah Smith, 20, were booked into the Nassau County jail on charges of robbery with a firearm and attempted murder. Lance White, 20, faces the same charges plus possession of a firearm by a career criminal, but he is recovering from gunshot wounds to his arm and buttocks at UF Health Jacksonville.
Hixon and another woman in the car when it was stopped initially told deputies that they were kidnapped and forced to drive the three men to the game room, but that story was proven false. The second woman was not charged because deputies believe she had no prior knowledge of the robbery.
Authorities said there have been six robberies targeting adult game rooms in Nassau County since June, including the Cyber Center arcade north of Callahan that was robbed at gunpoint and shots fired during a robbery at the Eighth Street Arcade in Fernandina Beach in October but no one was hit by the gunfire. The Beach House Game Room on U.S. 17 in Yulee was held up Friday afternoon by two masked men who deputies said fit the description of two of these suspects.
The Tracks was also broken into in June.
Don Murphy, who frequents arcades, said more people are coming to Nassau County’s game rooms now that Jacksonville has outlawed them.
“Some of those other places I don’t go to.,” Murphy said.
At Monday night’s Nassau County Commission meeting, County Attorney Mike Mullin will update the board on communities around the state, including Jacksonville, that have banned adult arcades. The item was put on the agenda before the two most recent robberies.