Violence hits local hotel just in time for Masters

By: Stephanie Baker Email
By: Stephanie Baker Email

April 6, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---There are very few vacancies in motels and hotels during tournament week...but be careful where you register.

Some places with Masters visitors, like the Regency Inn downtown, can be hotspots for violent crime. One couple staying there says they lost hundreds of dollars at gunpoint early yesterday morning.

One of the victims thinks the men followed him in from the parking lot. That's where he thinks they took the money he and his girlfriend planned to use to get out of here.

They've been saving every penny to find a better home. But that all changed when two men knocked on Tony Cascino's door, asking to use the phone.

"The second guy was masked with a sawed off shotgun and told me to lay I laid down," Tony said.

He says they took a pistol and $800 on his girlfriend's birthday. Misty Saxon says that money would have given her the chance to find a better job, and it would have let them move out today.

"Now since they took it, I got to stay here longer, and I don't want to be here," Misty said.

She says easy access to the street and broken security cameras make crimes like this common.

Front desk worker Nathan French says it's everything from drug use to violence.

"If you have a quiet night, it's a good thing," he said.

But last night was not quiet. Nathan was working the desk when the men kicked in the couple's door and took away their chance to leave at gunpoint.

The victims say the men ran toward the parking lot, got in a brown car and took off.

Local police say your best bet for a hotel room is a place where the doors to your room don't lead to the outside. They also say most crimes like this happen on the ground level, so try for an upper floor.

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