PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 58-year-old man is accused of duct taping a restaurant owner to a chair after putting a gun to his head and forcing him to empty the restaurant’s safe 2 years ago.
Keith Mathew Ingham is charged with 1st-degree robbery and 1st-degree kidnapping for an incident that happened April 29, 2015.
That night, Portland police went to the Overlook Restaurant in the 1300 block of N. Skidmore Street for an armed robbery call. The owner, Jim Sassalos, told them he was leaving the restaurant around 11 p.m. when a man wearing a Halloween mask forced him back inside.
Sassalos was forced to shut off the alarm and directed to the back office to open the safe, records show. The robber, now identified by police as Keith Mathew Ingham, held a semi-automatic handgun to the owner’s head.
Sassalos had his ankles and hands duct taped to a chair and his eyes and mouth covered with tape. A roll of duct tape found at the scene was sent to a state crime lab.
“He got me on the chair and I thought that’s the time now, he’s going to do this,” Sassalos told KOIN 6 News. “I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t begging or anything…. it didn’t cross my mind to cry or beg him, ‘Don’t kill me.'”
Surveillance video from the restaurant shows the suspect removing his mask and wig before leaving, casting a reflection of the suspect’s face on the front glass door.
“The reflection is amazingly clear,” court documents show.
But the case was suspended in January 2016 because there were very few leads in the case. Detectives caught a break came when they learned Ingham’s name through someone in the restaurant equipment repair industry.
Before the holdup, Ingham had worked for Sassalos, who had loaned him money.
Ingham was taken into custody on Tuesday and arraigned Wednesday morning in downtown Portland. He pleaded not guilty and is set for another court appearance on May 11.
Tim Becker contributed to this report.