Man pleads not guilty to charges of making threats to Marriott Hotel in Long Beach

by in News

Charges were filed Thursday against a man who allegedly threatened to carry out a mass shooting at a Marriott hotel in Long Beach, where he worked as a chef.

Rodolfo Montoya, 37, pleaded not guilty to two counts of making criminal threats and one count each of dissuading a witness by force or threat and possession of an assault weapon.

Montoya, who was ordered to be held in lieu of $500,000 bail while awaiting his next court appearance Aug. 30, could face more than five years in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Montoya allegedly spoke to a fellow employee on Monday and threatened “that he was going to shoot up fellow employees and people coming into the hotel,” Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna said at a news conference Wednesday.

Montoya was taken into custody Tuesday at his Huntington Beach home, where police found tactical gear, a variety of weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to the police chief, who alleged the suspect was “upset about some recent workplace activity having to do with H.R. (human resources).”

The employee told the hotel’s general manager, Imran Ahmed, who called police.

Ahmed called the situation “terrifying” and said he wanted “to thank my associate who came forward and informed us and our leadership team who took the proper action that was required.”

Long Beach police announced the arrest of 37-year-old Rodolfo Montoya for making threats of violence against his workplace, the Marriott Long Beach near the airport in Long Beach on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Police searched the suspects home and seized this into evidence, multiple weapons along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tactical gear. (Photo by Brittany Murray,Press-Telegram/SCNG)

The police chief thanked Ahmed for making police aware of what Montoya allegedly planned.

“Sir, you saved many lives, not only of your employees but any customers that may have been at the Marriott when this guy decided to show up and carry out his threat,” Luna said.

Detectives were looking into when Montoya planned to carry out the attack as well as how long he had allegedly been planning it, Luna said.