SONORA (CBS13) — A man in a Sonora hotel room had a rude awakening when police say a convicted felon kicked in the door of his room, robbed him and tied him to the toilet.
“I heard a second louder bang, and the door flew open, and the door frame came flying off,” the man who we’ll call Kevin said.
He feels lucky he’s alive to tell the story after the robber kicked in his hotel door, pointed a gun at him and said don’t make a sound.
“Looked at what I had, and started telling me to put all kinds of electronics in my laptop bag,” he said.
Kevin decided early on not to fight back, but the masked man wasn’t taking any chances.
“He tied my hands behind my back with my hands up against [the toilet], and then tied the rest of the rope around,” he said. “Tied a towel around my mouth and neck so I wouldn’t make any noise.”
Police say the gunman took off from the Inns of California on South Washington in Kevin’s rental car. Just an hour later, they say he used Kevin’s credit card to buy gas in Sonora. Less than five hours later, the car was found parked in a home in the Tuolumne area, and the suspect was found.
“It didn’t seem like his first time,” Kevin said. “It was going too smoothly, but at the same it seemed like there were plenty of holes where he could get himself caught.”
Investigators say the suspect, Ramon Diaz had a lengthy criminal past, and was out on parole for his most recent conviction of burglary.
Police say the parolee cut off his GPS ankle bracelet and kicked in the doors to several unrented rooms at the hotel until he found Kevin’s room.
Even after what happened, Kevin says he’s say a prayer for the man who shoved a gun in his face.
“I almost felt some sort of sympathy. People who do this kind of thing are either really sick or really desperate,” he said. “It must be a dark place to be.”
The hotel manager has worked there for 14 years, and says nothing like what happened to Kevin has ever happened there.