A Ramona couple’s idyllic vision of small-town retirement imploded Thursday morning when three masked men broke through the front door of their small home and demanded money.
James Miner, 60, said he was asleep on a couch and his wife, Kathryne, 57, was still in bed when they were awakened by the sound of three men clad in similar dark clothing, with their faces concealed by ski masks or bandanas, forcing their way through the front door.
“It was locked, and they kicked it in,” James Miner said. “It made all kinds of noise. They came in and said they were looking for my son. They asked for narcotics or money. One had a pistol.”
The Miners’ son, Scott Leroy Miner, 34, wasn’t there, having been arrested Dec. 20 by sheriff’s deputies on a Dickinson County warrant alleging probation violation related to a 2013 conviction for aggravated battery. A court appearance was scheduled for today.
Miner, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, said his son had lived with them for a brief period.
“He was living here for a while as part of his probation community service, because we were elderly and disabled,” Miner said. “He was there to help.”
But the relationship turned abusive, Miner claimed, with the younger Miner allegedly demanding money and threatening damage to the house, resulting in a call to authorities and the charge of probation violation.
The intruders claimed Scott Miner owed them money, the father said, but the couple had none. One of the men seized a can from a table next to the couch.
“They were our medicines for the month,” Miner said. “He grabbed my prescription medications, the whole can, and said, ‘What’s this? We’ll just take this, and you tell Scott we’ll catch up with him, and when we do you tell him he’d better have the money.”
The trio fled. Miner said the couple could not see where they went after disappearing from the limited view afforded by their window.
Deputy Derek Fetrow reported the stolen medications were 60 pain relieving narcotic pills valued at $750.
The couple moved to Kansas from Texas about 10 years ago, living in Herington and Abilene before being attracted to a lot in Ramona.
“It looked nice, next to a park, peaceful, in a little town called Ramona,” Miner said. “I built the place myself before I became crippled.”
Peaceful no more, Miner said the couple likely will leave Ramona.
“It’s not a peaceful little town, it’s not a friendly little town, and in fact we’re going home,” he said. “We’re going back to Texas; I’m not going to put up with this. It took 45 minutes for a police officer to get to my house on a 911 intrusion, and I thought that was ridiculous. My wife’s dad and brothers are up here, but we never had nothing like this ever happening in Texas. We don’t feel safe here.”
Fetrow’s report indicated that he arrived 26 minutes after the crime was reported. Undersheriff David Huntley arrived shortly thereafter, Sheriff Robert Craft said.
“It’s a big county,” Craft said. “They started there as soon as they got the call.”
No one has been taken into custody; however, Craft said the department is “working on some leads.”
Miner said he didn’t know whether or why his son might have owed the intruders money, as they claimed, but he had a message for them.
“Please leave us alone; he’s not here,” Miner said. “We don’t have anything. We live month to month. He’s responsible for his own actions, what he does out there on the street his mother and I should not have to pay for. Please leave us alone. We have nothing to do with it.”