On August 31, Ramírez arrived in the downtown Greyhound bus station in Los Angeles, after coming back from his brother's home in Tucson, Arizona. As Ramírez was leaving the bus station, he noticed that the area was flooded with cops, but managed to slip away unnoticed, unaware that he was identified as the Night Stalker. As he walked into a corner store, the owners noticed his face from the mugshots, and one of them shouted out "El Matador" ("The Killer"). Ramírez turned to the side, saw the newspaper rack with his face on several front covers, grabbed La Opinión, and ran.
Ramírez ran two miles in 12 minutes, heading east from downtown Los Angeles. Ramírez then tried to steal Faustino Pinon's red Ford Mustang. Ramírez, who was wearing a black Jack Daniel's t-shirt, had been hopping fences between yards, searching for a car he could steal easily. He had been chased off the property next door to Pinon's home and wound up in Pinon's yard. Ramírez saw that the Ford Mustang parked in the driveway was unlocked and the keys were in the ignition. He jumped in and started the engine, but had not noticed that the car's owner was underneath it, working on the transmission. As soon as Pinon, 56, heard the engine starting, he rolled out from under the car. Angry that someone was touching his prized possession, Pinon reached through the window and grabbed Ramírez around the neck. Ramírez warned Pinon that he had a gun, but Pinon ignored him. Ramírez put the car into gear and tried to drive away, but Pinon would not let go of him.
The car crashed into a fence, then into the garage.
Pinon got the door open, pulled Ramírez out, and threw him to the ground. Ramírez scrambled to his feet and ran across the street just as 28-year-old Angelina de la Torres was getting into her Ford Granada. He ran up to her car and stuck his head through the driver's window, demanding that she give him the keys, threatening in Spanish to kill her if she did not. She screamed for help, and her husband Manuel, 32, came running from the backyard. According to Nancy Skelton in the Los Angeles Times, he grabbed a length of metal fence post as he passed through the gate along the side of the house. In the meantime, Jose Burgoin, who had heard the struggle in Faustino Pinon's driveway, had called the police. He ran outside to help Pinon, and when he heard Angelina scream, he called to his sons (Jaime, 21, and Julio, 17) for assistance. As the brothers ran to help Mrs. De la Torres, they saw the stranger scrambling across the front seat of her car. Jaime recognized him from photographs in the newspapers and on television and yelled that this was the killer, and the men made a mad dash to catch him. Ramírez ran, but Manuel de la Torres caught up with him and hit him across the neck with the metal post he was still carrying.
Ramírez kept running, but de la Torres followed, hitting him repeatedly from behind. Jaime Burgoin caught up with Ramírez and punched him. Ramírez stumbled and fell but quickly got up and continued running with de la Torres and the Burgoin brothers on his heels. Finally, de la Torres swung hard and hit Ramírez on the head. The Night Stalker collapsed to the ground. Jaime and Jose Burgoin closed in on him to keep him down until the police arrived.