William Longthorne managed to escape from Kuwait under the guns of the Iraqi army by crossing the desert into Saudi Arabia. Then, on Tuesday, he got mugged in the parking lot of a Linthicum hotel.
The 64-year-old mechanical engineer was standing in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn, in the 800 block of Elkridge Landing Road at about 10:40 p.m. when he was approached by a man who pointed a gun at him, said he was hungry and demanded all his money.
Longthorne didn't have any cash on hand, so he turned over a watch worth $200. The man took it and ran away. Longthorne notified hotel security officers, who called police.
Longthorne was staying at the hotel, near Baltimore-Washington International Airport, until he got settled. A police report says he has no permanent address in this country because of his extended stay in the Middle East.
He was working in Kuwait for Tcom Inc., a Columbia-based engineering firm. After getting out of Kuwait about three weeks ago, Longthorne spent some time vacationing in Europe. He was born in England and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, county police said.
Longthorne refused to talk to The Anne Arundel County Sun Thursday. Officials from his company said he didn't want to talk about his experience in the Middle East. A hotel receptionist at the Hampton Inn said that Longthorne told her that his company forbade him to comment to the media.
The company manufactures "tethered aerostats," or light-air vehicles -- similar to non-mechanized air balloons. Company officials, who refused to be identified, would not say what type of business the company was doing in the Middle East.
Police are looking for a black man, 5 feet 10 inches tall, of medium build and medium complexion, wearing a dark wind breaker and dark pants. He was armed with a small silver revolver.