How not to treat Route 66 tourists

This strange and unfortunate incident happened in Amboy, California, in November, but it surfaced earlier this week on the Historic Route 66 page on Facebook.

The incident also largely was confirmed by Carlos Aceves, who was the town’s manager, including at Roy’s.

Here’s the Nov. 5 story by KCDZ, a community radio station that states it received the report from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office:

An employee of Roy’s Café in Amboy was arrested Thursday, accused of slashing a bus driver with a knife. According to a Sheriff’s report, a bus stopped at Roy’s Café and the driver started handing out bottles of water to the passengers. A female employee came out just before 2 p.m. and started berating the driver for passing out the water. The woman’s husband, later identified as Arthur Perry, 58, of Yucca Valley, saw the altercation and came out to confront the bus driver. The report states that Perry brandished a knife and told the bus driver he would kill him. The bus driver received a slash on his hand and he punched Perry in the eye in self-defense. Witnesses intervened and broke up the fight.

The report later states a sheriff’s deputy found three knives on Perry, who admitted to threatening the bus driver. Perry was booked into a local jail with bond set at $50,000. He wasn’t in custody as of Tuesday night.

I looked through the radio station’s Amboy news feed, and I recognized earlier stories from the Mojave Desert village and a few others I didn’t know about. It appears the station is a legitimate news outlet, so the bus-driver-attack story appears genuine.

I’m sure the bus driver will tell his motorcoach friends about this, and it will depress bus visits to Amboy for a while. Yes, it wasn’t cool of the driver to pass out water to his passengers before they departed the bus. Roy’s depends on revenue from beverage and food sales to keep going. But the employee — and her husband — lost their cool.

But by all accounts, including my own personal experience, this incident is an anomaly and shouldn’t dissuade anyone from visiting Roy’s and the surrounding area.

There are bigger fish to fry. If only the county, state and feds could scrounge up enough money to repair the washed-out bridges along National Trails Highway (aka Route 66) in the area. Much of that road has been inaccessible for years now.

(Image of Roy’s in Amboy, California, by Chuck Coker via Flickr)

15 thoughts on “How not to treat Route 66 tourists

  1. Unfortunate incident. Mutual respect and basic communication skills seem to be on the decline.

  2. If Albert Okura “purchased the whole Route 66 town of Amboy” then is it not private property – and not open to the general public? Was the coach driver trespassing by going onto private property without the express permission of Mr Okura?

    Why did not Arthur Perry not have a gun as well as the three knives – all for self-defence only, your honour? “My right to bear arms.”

  3. There are crazy people everywhere in the world even on Route 66. It is a shame but true and you never know when you are going to meet one.

  4. I had a problem there with some gun totin’ guy named Mitchell in 2010. He showed me a little badge that said Sheriff on it and showed me a holstered gun. I complained to Albert, who explained that it’s extremely difficult to get people to work out there. He apologized for the incident and was extremely pleasant and friendly. I sympathize with his predicament. But it’s hard to erase the memory of being threatened, when I was just there taking pictures. I have no ill will towards Albert and hope he is able to keep Roy’s running for a good, long time.

    1. Dennis’s “problem there with some gun totin’ guy named Mitchell ” seems to sum up the American attitude in general. “Security guards” in shopping malls think they are some sort of sheriffs; even individual shops have “security personnel”. Just how unsafe is America that these people are needed, and that they are living back in the days of Jesse James?

      1. Your “Jesse James” crack is worth noting, because a crime expert I’ve read contends the U.S. crime rate hit an all-time high in the decades after the Civil War because of a breakdown of order in the decimated South and general lawlessness in the West. He says the U.S. still is dealing with that crime-peak era more than 150 years later.

        Truth is, the U.S. right now sits near an all-time low in crime rate. Quite a few think it’s because environmental laws removed a lot of lead from the soil and air several decades ago, and it takes that long to see the effects. Long-term exposure to lead causes brain damage and cognitive effects.

      2. His name is Hastings and he is a real crazy character some days he causes allot of havoc and then the nicest person the next day after his nervous breakdown he was disarmed and no longer is allowed to carry his gun during working hours. His latest is chasing a french couple who was just looking in the church, they were stopped at the train crossing and he busted out their side window and then went back and destroyed the church and called the police. If it wasn’t for his powdered white and bleeding knuckles the police might have believed his story. Surprised he didn’t get himself arrested.

  5. If, indeed, the US is still dealing with the after effects of the Civil War – and the removal of lead from petroleum products (I’m not sure why there should be lead in the soil except by Nature) has led to “an all-time low in crime rate” – what would account for the homicide rate being ten times that of Holland – where many European Americans came from, or five times that of the UK, whence many other European Americans came? I cannot see people who have led rural or small town lives for generations having brain damage from breathing in fumes containing lead. Where would the human-caused lead-laden soil have come from? Supposing eating crops containing lead has been another cause of brain damage. I would have thought the way the USA was created – by Europeans (largely forcibly) taking over the aboriginal Americans land, driving them off that land and claiming the land to be theirs – had more to do with the European Americans’ attitude towards the use of guns right up to the present time. But I’m just a non-American European.

    As to my question about Amboy being private land, is that correct? Was the coach driver trespassing when he drove in and stopped outside Roy’s Café? Are there, in fact, signs by the road saying “Amboy, Private Property”?

    1. — The lead in the soil comes from either industrial plants or paint chips from lead-based paint, which was commonly used decades ago. The lead in the soil turns to dust, and people breathe it in.

      — Parts of Amboy are on private land, but Roy’s is a business with access to a public road. So, no, the bus drive was not trespassing.

      1. Thanks, Ron, for the additional information. I know in the UK there have been numerous industrial sites which have had polluted land, but with a whole variety of chemicals. One coal gas plant was demolished when the UK went onto North Sea gas, and a housing estate built on the site. Large amounts of “clean” soil had to be brought in. Amboy seems a right pickle, with a mixture of public and private roads. What happened about Mike Hughes and his rocket? Did he launch himself in it?

  6. Charlie66 – Is Hastings Mitchell – or someone else? What did you mean by “If it wasn’t for his powdered white and bleeding knuckles the police might have believed his story”? If criminal damage and destruction of property do not warrant arrest in the USA, what does? And he can carry a gun when he is not working?

  7. Well, the Hitcher movie was filmed near there! Lol…I bet there are some real life John Ryder’s knocking around in such places!

  8. Recently visited Rt.66 in California, stopped at Roy’s cafe and many other sites that were drivable. Countless foreign tourists and locals we met made it an experience we will never forget. Isolated incidents unfortunately happen everywhere, it’s a visit to remember! Sam and Mary Phillips.

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