YULEE, Fla. – A 23-year-old Yulee man was arrested Saturday in connection with a home invasion that centered around expensive shoes, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.
Amos Hopper is charged with home invasion robbery, aggravated assault, theft and resisting without violence.
Hopper is accused of forcing his way into a home on Worthington Drive inside the Paige Hill subdivision in Yulee on Saturday night to steal expensive shoes that are sold online.
Deputies said Hopper got into the home through a sliding glass door. One of the victims, whom News4Jax has chosen not to identify, said he and his girlfriend barricaded themselves in a bedroom with their baby while his roommate was being threatened.
“I didn’t know if he was armed. I didn’t know what the intentions were. I just knew I had to protect myself, my 2-week-old child and my girlfriend,” the victim said. “He was inside going through everything throwing stuff and causing a ruckus.”
According to an arrest report, Hopper pretended to have a gun under his waistband and told the roommate “he would blow his head off” if he didn’t “give him the shoes.”
The two roommates sell expensive shoes online and advertise their merchandise on social media.
“That’s basically how I make my living — selling shoes," the one victim said.
And investigators said they believe Hopper knew this, but he didn’t know the other victims barricading themselves had already called 911.
An eyewitness, who asked not to be identified, said he was outside when deputies arrived and tried to move in on the suspect.
“He took off running and the guy’s pants were not pulled up all the way," he said.
The witness said that made it easy for one of the deputies to catch up to the suspect.
“He then shot him with the Taser. The guy dropped immediately," the witness said.
Hopper was booked into the Nassau County jail, and a judge set his bond at $275,000. News4Jax on Tuesday went to the home listed as his address. It’s several doors down from the victims' home. News4Jax ran into a woman and tried to ask her about her relation to Hopper, but she sped off.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Hopper also a convicted sex offender with a documented history of run-ins with law enforcement, including a North Carolina conviction for sexual battery.
Neighborhood on edge
The typically-quiet subdivision was on edge after learning about the home invasion.
“It’s a little scary,” said Bonnie Ayars, who has lived in the community for eight years.
Another neighbor, who wished to remain unnamed, said: "Learning it was a home invasion shocks me, but at the same time, it doesn’t because there is a lot of that going on.”
Neighbors said they never knew Hopper was a convicted sex offender.
As for one of the victims, he said that he nor his roommate and girlfriend will continue to live there.
“We just don’t feel safe in this neighborhood," he said. "This is the nicest place I’ve lived my whole life, and it’s driving me out the fastest.”
When News4Jax spoke with that victim, he was in the process of gathering personal items and taking them to the place he is now staying.