Suspect in 1980 Los Banos homicide had angry streak, according to court documents

04/13/2011 4:20 PM

04/14/2011 5:28 AM

A 63-year-old man accused of a 1980 Los Banos homicide is expected to be extradited to Merced County from Florida next week.

Ronald Miranda was arrested April 8 by Florida City, Fla., police in the Nov. 15, 1980, killing of 45-year-old Mitch Arambel. Up until Miranda's arrest last week, his whereabouts had been unknown to law enforcement.

Deputy Tom MacKenzie, Merced County sheriff's spokesman, said authorities are still determining the specific date Miranda will be returned to California. He'll be escorted to the state by either a deputy or federal marshal.

In the meantime, Florida court documents shed light upon an alleged violent outburst by Miranda inside a Florida City restaurant, where he allegedly threatened several waitresses. The April 5 incident subsequently led to Miranda's arrest for the Los Banos homicide case.

Living under the alias Richard Gamble, Miranda worked as general manager of Captain's Restaurant & Seafood in south Florida. After the alleged threat, at least one of the waitresses filed a restraining order against Miranda. Witness statements in those documents detail the suspect's alleged violent behavior.

According to the court documents, Miranda became abusive April 4 after waitresses pulled him aside to inform him that his girlfriend, who was also an employee at the restaurant, was stealing cash from the register. Miranda then erupted in anger, screaming and accusing the waitresses of lying.

The next day, around the restaurant's 8:30 p.m. closing time, Miranda patted his pocket and pointed at three waitresses, yelling out "I am going to cap these bitches in their heads."

The waitresses were trying to finish their paperwork and leave. Miranda added he was "going to put a bullet" into the head of one of the waitresses. "If I am fired I am not going out without a bang. I am not leaving without shooting this place up ... it will be like Vietnam," he yelled. "Tomorrow will be the end of this," authorities quote him as having said.

The waitresses immediately clocked out and left. Shortly after, they drove to the Florida City Police Department and filed a report.

According to the witness testimony in the report, the April 5 incident wasn't the first threat Miranda made. On March 23, he allegedly pulled a gun from his waist band at the restaurant. He opened the chamber, spun it around and counted the bullets. He then began counting the employees and said "I have enough to go around," according to the report.

In the report, witnesses said Miranda was known to inform his coworkers he carried a firearm, making hand gestures as if he were holding a gun, pointing it at them. He was also frequently drunk, according to the report.

Miranda was booked by Florida City police after allegedly threatening the waitresses at the restaurant. He was released on bail, but Florida City police learned his true identity from his fingerprints, which had been entered into a nationwide database. Miranda was contacted by police and arrested again Friday.

A call was placed to Captain's Restaurant & Seafood to speak with the owner about the allegations surrounding Miranda. He couldn't be reached by the Sun-Star on Wednesday. The employee who answered the phone also stated they've been told not to share any information about Miranda with the media.

Florida City Police Detective Joe Shiver said it's unknown how long Miranda lived in Florida, although the suspect said during interviews he'd been there for 15 years.

Arambel was shot to death at the home of Miranda's estranged wife. Witnesses said Miranda forced his way into the 13343 Johnson Road home around 3 a.m. and found his wife with Arambel. His wife confronted Miranda, they said, and after a struggle between the couple Arambel was shot inside the home.

Miranda remains at the Miami-Dade County jail.

Managing Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service