The “robbery” in Big Sur, was actually two – an attempted robbery and an attempted murder, on a local who lives in his car, and an actual robbery and attempted murder in Gorda.
John Ritter told me the story of his eventful evening last night. John had parked on the side of Highway One, south of Big Sur Valley, when this Lincoln Navigator pulled up behind him. He thought it was the CHP, so he went to get his license and registration. A man with a gun confronted him. John put his car into gear and started to pull away, when the guy unloaded his .32 at John. There is a bullet hole in his windshield and several more in his dash. John ducked, and drove away using his hands on the pedals. John felt these guys were high on something.
Those are photos of two of the bullet holes – one in the windshield, and one in the dash.
He did not know how many people there were, or that they had been caught in San Simeon after one of the men was shot by officers, until I told him the outcome. John said that the man with the gun was standing at the window, not more than three feet away and missed John with all the shots. All the rounds are still in the dash. John called 911 from the pay phone in at the Deli in Big Sur Valley, where he was eventually connected to a dispatch center in Santa Barbara, who, of course, is not familiar with our area.
John asked me to tell the story, so that he did not have to repeat it to everyone in Big Sur. John also said while he loved his Saab, now that it is full of holes and the memory of this night, he wanted to get rid of it. Ralph said, “Think of the bragging rights.” John replied, “Oh, yeah. When I pick up a crack whore hitchhiking I can tell her the story.” John, we are all very glad you are okay, and that you still have your sense of humor.
I then stopped by Gorda on my way home to confirm what I had heard about the robbery there. I spoke with the waitress to get the story, as the incident last night happened to the cook and dishwasher, and my Spanish is not good enough for an interview. She informed me that around midnight, the restaurant was still open, and they had guests seated on the patio. This guy came into the kitchen asking for help, and the cook and dishwasher went outside. One guy stuck a screwdriver in the cook’s back, pretending it was a gun, but then yelled at another guy to “Give me your gun. Give me your gun.” In order to convince the cook that he had a real gun and that it was loaded, the alleged robber shot out the window of a car. Apparently they did get gas and then drove off down the road, while the men at Gorda called 911.
According to other news sources, a roadblock was set up in San Simeon, and when the driver tried to run down the police, he was shot in the leg by the police, and all five occupants of the stolen vehicle were placed under arrest.
I was unable to confirm the alleged attempted break in at the Deli, but John thinks that is unlikely, as that is where he made his call to 911.
The Monterey Herald reported this:
“A wild ride that began in Fresno County and ended in San Luis Obispo late Sunday wreaked havoc on Monterey County, where the suspects robbed a gas station, threatened a police officer and tried to rob a Big Sur camper.
Three males and two females, tentatively identified as members of the Bulldog gang in Fresno, were driving a stolen a Lincoln Navigator when they were stopped in Pacific Grove for a seat belt violation, Monterey County Sheriff Cmdr. Mike Richards said. They escaped, eluding pursuit. The suspects then allegedly attempted to rob a man at the Big Sur Village, and later robbed at gunpoint two employees at a gas station in Gorda, police said.
The suspects were detained by San Luis Obispo sheriff deputies after a short pursuit south of San Simeon.
Deputies had opened fire on the car after the suspects had once again tried to flee. The five suspects were taken into custody without further incident. One of the suspects received a gunshot wound to the leg. He was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.”
Okay, now I can’t resist an editorial comment or two. Who robs a man who lives in his car? What idiot would choose an “escape route” that is 90 miles long and only one way in or out? If this is any example of the intelligence of the Bulldog gang, this gene pool is going to die out early, as it should.
According to Bert Etling, editor of the Cambrian, the booking charges on all five people are: Three counts attempted murder; One count attempted armed robbery (probably John Ritter); One count armed robbery (probably gas at Gorda; they got that, according to Mont. Sheriff’s); One count shooting at a dwelling. Now that’s a mystery, unless the MCSO are considering John’s car a “dwelling.” Of course, what the MCSO books suspects on and what the Monterey County DA’s office files could be different. It will be interesting for me to follow this one. Thanks for checking out the booking charges, Bert!
Photos of some of the suspects have been posted on the Cambrian update which you can see here: