Advertisement

Motel Official Arrested on Suspicion of Attempted Rape

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A motel manager was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of trying to rape a 17-year-old runaway staying in one of his rooms, although police conceded that he may have been the victim instead.

Although Bankim Oza, 33, was booked on an allegation of attempted rape, police said it was unclear what exactly happened at the Bahia Motel shortly after midnight.

Maintaining his innocence, Oza told police he was the victim of a robbery attempt by the runaway and her 16-year-old boyfriend.

“It’s hard to know who’s more credible,” Burbank Police Sgt. Doyle Holm said.

Advertisement

Based on the girl’s description of events, Oza was arrested, but was freed on $50,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.

A motel employee who declined to be identified expressed shock over Oza’s arrest, adding that he began working there just two months ago.

“He’s a very nice guy. Clean-cut record,” she said. “We have been here 22 years and nothing happened before. He didn’t do anything at all. He didn’t do anything.”

The young couple were not named by authorities because of their ages. But police said the girl is a runaway from Glendale who had not been reported missing by her parents until after Tuesday’s incident.

Advertisement

According to the teen-age couple’s version of events, Oza touched, fondled her and pushed her onto a bed in one of the motel rooms, where she was trying to use a phone.

The action was interrupted when her boyfriend unexpectedly walked in, the couple told police.

The 16-year-old contends he argued with Oza and then--fearing for his life--jumped off a second-floor balcony, which distracted Oza and enabled his girlfriend to seek help.

Oza, however, told police that the couple held him at knife-point and tried to rob him of jewelry, and that he then hid in one of the motel rooms until police arrived.

Advertisement


Advertisement