A New York man who had been celebrating his $96,000 windfall with a group of women was reportedly robbed at gunpoint by two masked men.
The victim, 30-year-old Saul Mata Vellegas, checked into the Van Cortlandt Motel in the Bronx borough of New York City around 10 p.m. Sunday with a suitcase full of his winnings, police said. The man then requested sex workers to accompany him, the New York Post reported Thursday.
After the women in question arrived, they suggested that they call up a “friend” to bring beer and cigarettes. Instead, a group of masked and armed men showed up at the hotel around 6:50 a.m. and exited with the bag containing the man’s money. The suspects were seen fleeing the scene in a black van. Police want all persons involved for questioning.
“I am haunted by this,” Vellegas told the newspaper. “I keep playing it over in my mind. I was surprised they pulled a gun. I said ‘What is going on?’ I yelled, ‘help, help.'”
Vellegas told the newspaper that he planned to use the money to help his family relocate.
“I am nervous all the time now,” he said. “I keep replaying it over and over. I see the weapon they used clearly over and over. I needed that money badly.”
Authorities released photos and sketches of the suspects, including the women and masked men. The investigation is ongoing.
Vellegas won the $96,000 settlement from a lawsuit involving a car accident, according to the Post. No further detailed have been revealed.
New York saw a similar crime earlier this month. Junior middleweight champion Jermall Charlo had a bag full of approximately $40,000 in cash and $115,000 in jewelry stolen from him at rapper Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in the Manhattan on March 5. He had been with a group of friends when he lost his belongings.
Police said surveillance footage showed five women walking out with the bag. It was unclear if authorities found the women in question.