Alleged Violent Attack on Hotel Employee Caught on Camera
Warning these videos depicts graphic violence and is not suitable for children.
July 3, 2020
Stonington Police Department Press Release
In response to calls from concerned citizens over the past week regarding an incident at the Quality Inn, and out of concern for our valued relationship with the community, Stonington Police wish to clarify details of this incident.
SUMMARY OF FACTS:
On Friday, June 26, 2020, at approximately 11:30 a.m. two 911 calls were received reporting a physical disturbance at the Quality Inn. While police were responding, and before their arrival, a second, much more violent, attack took place.
When police arrived, they first encountered the female employee victim. While speaking with her, officers were alerted that the two guests involved in the incident were outside. Officers then engaged with the guests. As officers were interviewing the 3 involved parties, all of them requested medical attention. Ambulances were summoned to the scene and all parties were transported to local medical facilities. The ambulances left at or around noon.
Officers remained on scene and spoke with the two most substantial witnesses; these two witnesses are also employees; the continued investigation and discussion with those two employees were in the lobby and captured on video. Employees on the scene at that time were having difficulty getting access to video footage, and officers could only view portions of the initial altercation. Nevertheless, from witness accounts, police had established probable cause to charge both guests in the incident. One of the employees asked what to do with the guests’ belongings in the room. Staff was advised by police to restrict the keycard access to the room, and call police should the two guests arrive back from the hospital.
Police called L&M and learned from staff that police would not be permitted inside the ER to make an arrest due to COVID procedures. Since this incident, police and hospital management have discussed and resolved protocols related to the COVID pandemic. In further effort to make contact with the suspect for an arrest, police contacted him by phone at the hospital, and advised that he needed to contact the police to be escorted back to the hotel to retrieve belongings because the suspects were not welcome back at the hotel that day. At that time, the officers planned to charge both suspects. The next contact with either suspect was shortly after 3:00 p.m. when the male called to report he was being threatened and harassed by the victim’s family via Facebook. Police then called the male suspect (approx.. 3:20 p.m.) who reported he was still at the hospital. Police went back to the Quality Inn to see if the suspect was actually returning; their intent, again, was to charge both suspects but found the suspect’s vehicle was gone.
Over the weekend, the police continued to work with hotel staff to obtain the video as quickly as possible. On Monday, June 29, 2020, police received all of the video footage of the incident. This was the 1st time the entire videos were seen by police.
Surveillance from the hotel shows that on Friday, June 26, 2020, at 2:19 p.m., the two suspects were dropped off by a Lyft driver, they hurry to their vehicle and immediately leave. From the time the Lyft vehicle pulls into the lot near the suspects’ car to the time the suspects are pulling onto route 27 is less than 1 minute.
Surveillance also revealed that during the minutes between the second assault and the police encountering the suspects, the two suspects walked to their vehicle and the female put a large bag in the trunk. This information was not known to officers at scene, and officers still believed that the suspects would need the police to access their belongings in the room. On June 30, 2020, during a follow-up interview of one of the witnesses, police learned that the suspects had not left anything in the room as initially thought.
On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, Stonington Police secured arrest warrants for the suspects involved in this case. In a detailed affidavit to the State’s Attorney’s office, police requested charges related to Assault and Bigotry and Bias. After review of the facts of the case, the State’s Attorney’s office has signed warrants for Assault 3rd Degree for the female suspect, and Assault 2nd Degree for the male suspect. Police are working with partners in New York and the FBI’s Civil Rights Division, in the continuance of this investigation including the apprehension of the suspects.
• Claims of the suspect saying “Black lives matter, your life doesn’t, you don’t deserve to live on this earth.”
o During a comprehensive investigation, police have yet to identify anyone who heard or saw this statement.
• Claim that the suspect came over the desk at the victim.
o Neither of the two altercations occurred over, behind or in front of any desk. The first altercation came as two employees were speaking with the suspects. The victim left the lobby area and walked up a hallway where a verbal altercation between the victim and suspect ensued. The victim then walked away and was chased down and assaulted.
• Insinuation that the victim was ordered into a room by police, while police reviewed surveillance; and a claim that the police were on scene while she was attacked the second time.
o Completely false, the first assault occurred at 11:33 a.m. One witness took the victim to her office and then called the police; and the second assault occurred at 11:37 a.m. all prior to any police arrival at the Quality Inn. This is supported by video surveillance.
• Claim that the suspects were “allowed” to come back to the hotel to grab their belongings and leave.
o Completely unbeknownst to the police, the suspects got a ride from the hospital, got into their vehicle and left. They were back on the property for less than one minute as they got into their vehicle and fled; they never entered the building or encountered the police.
• Claim in a June 30 article that police had not yet interviewed eyewitnesses including 2 employees.
o Officers can be seen on video until around 12:20 p.m. interviewing the 2 employees that witnessed the attack. Their accounts were provided in an initial report by on-scene officers.
• Claim that the first effort to investigate was Tuesday morning
o On scene, investigation was completed and witness accounts obtained. Over the weekend, police completed initial reports for a warrant, continued efforts to obtain video, and made arrangements for a statement from the victim.
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