California Valley victim burned, stabbed and beaten
December 16, 2011
Gruesome details about the bizarre torture of a California Valley man in November were revealed in a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s department warrant obtained by KSBY.
In November, Travis Dames escaped from two men who had held him hostage for three days while they assaulted him at a home on the 13000 block of Camarillo Road in California Valley, officials said.
Daniel Zeller, 42, and Philip Williams, 44, allegedly asked Dames to help dig a small fish pond at William’s house. Dames told detectives the men turned on him and said “We are going to fucking kill you and bury you in a box where no one will find you,” and ordered him into a cupboard.
In the warrant, detectives describe Williams using a blow torch to burn Dames arms, Zeller hitting Dames with the claw end of a hammer gauging his right pinky finger and bashing his head. Zeller also stabbed Dames in the back and spine with a dinner fork.
After three days, Dames escaped through a panel in the cupboard that led outdoors. Zeller found Dames and beat him before fleeing to Kern County, the warrant says.
Zeller and Williams pleaded not guilty to felony charges of torture, false imprisonment by violence, assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats. A pre-preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday was continued until later next month.