A local mixed martial arts instructor thwarted an apparent break-in attempt early Wednesday morning at his home in Lake of the Woods, Virginia.
Eric Zamora, owner and head trainer at Zamora Boxing Gym in Culpeper, said he was laying on the floor watching TV in his home at 3420 Lakeview Parkway around 1:30 a.m. with his wife, Jenny, sleeping in the same room when he heard footsteps on the back deck.
“At first I just thought it was a raccoon or possum because we have trouble with them out here,” Zamora said. “But then I stood up and saw some guy looking in at me through the glass door.”
Zamora said the man began yelling and cursing and demanding to be let in the house. Zamora then said he dialed Lake of the Woods security before waking up his wife and handing her the phone.
“I kept thinking that I don’t know what this guy wants, but I have to keep him out of the house but keep him here until the cops come because I don’t want him coming back,” Zamora said.
After unsuccessfully trying to yank open the back door, Zamora said the would-be intruder ran away just to reappear in the front yard moments later, where he continued to curse and demand entry into the house.
With his 22-month and 3-month-old daughters and his wife in the house, Zamora decided to step outside and confront the man he described as, “angry and smelling of alcohol.”
“Most people probably say you shouldn’t go outside, but my thing was that if nobody stops him he could easily come back,” said Zamora, who reiterated he called Lake of the Woods security twice before confronting the man.
Once outside, Zamora demanded the man to leave his property before being accosted with a threat. “He said, ‘If you don’t move and let me in the house I’m going to knock you the F--- out,” Zamora recounted.
According to Zamora, the man then took an aggressive step toward him before Zamora struck him with a punch, knocking him to the ground.
When the man stood, Zamora took him to the ground, maneuvered to full mount.
Zamora said he held the man there until Lake of the Woods security showed up and took him into custody before turning him over to Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
“There was no reaction, it was just instinctive,” Zamora said. “My thought was, ‘you’re not getting through me because I have females in the house.’ If I had to die defending my family then so be it.”
Zamora said he was interviewed by Lake of the Woods security and OCSO deputies, who assured him he did the right thing.
“They told me they understood because I was defending my home and family,” said Zamora, who just moved from Culpeper to Lake of the Woods with his family in August.
Zamora said this was the first time he ever felt he was forced to defend his home, but even doing so successfully doesn’t take away the uneasy feeling that remains.
“We have lived in places with much less security and that are much more accessible and this happens after we moved into a gated community,” Zamora said. “It’s just crazy.”