St Petersburg FL May 15 2013
Police say that a fired security guard shot the hotel manager and later committed suicide.
Detectives have identified Anthony Graig Taylor, 45, as the man accused of shooting the manager at a St. Petersburg motel and then killing himself early Tuesday morning.
Witnesses told police Taylor had worked as a security guard and was staying in one of the rooms at the New Plaza Motel but was fired because he had gotten into “several confrontations” with motel patriots, St. Petersburg Police.
Taylor was still allowed to rent a room after his firing but had recently been told he was evicted because he was behind on his rent, police said.
The motive in the shooting of manager Jerome Horacek remains unclear, police said, because Horacek was not responsible for Taylor’s firing or eviction. The two had had “casual conversation” about an hour before the shooting, officials said.
Detectives said they believe Taylor may have been attempting to rob Horacek, “who immediately attempted to flee once Taylor entered the office and pointed the handgun at him,” the police stated. Taylor “was seen shooting out of the window at the office entrance as Horacek fled.
Horaceck suffered multiple gunshot wounds in his upper torso but is expected to survive, authorities said.
A K-9 unit later found Taylor’s body in a lot at 3462 3rd Ave. N. after he had apparently committed suicide with the same handgun used in the shooting, according to police.
The investigation is still ongoing.
AUSTIN TX May 3 2013 — Business travelers and vacationers expect the best from their hotel stay, especially when it comes to privacy.
“I kind of check around to make sure everything is copacetic,” said Nichole Bucher who works downtown. “But, you know, hotels have a great security staff where I always feel safe.”
Bucher says she often travels for work and is shocked to hear an Austin hotel employee invaded a guest’s privacy.
“That is absolutely horrible. You check into a hotel and you expect that privacy and that little oasis,” she said.
A housekeeper at the Hyatt Regency hotel located at 208 Barton Springs is charged with misdemeanor attempted improper photography and visual recording.
Blue Moo Too, 30, is charged after his cell phone was found hidden in a ceiling tile above the shower of one of the hotel rooms.
Police say a guest reported hearing an alarm-type sound coming from the bathroom area of her hotel room while she was in the shower. She found a small pinhole with a camera lens behind it in the ceiling. After moving the tiles, she discovered the cell phone.
Hotel security removed the camera from the ceiling and noted that it was powered on.
Video on the phone showed a man placing it in the bathroom ceiling and wiping away his footprints from the bathtub.
The hotel’s executive housekeeper identified the man as her employee, Too, a housekeeper at the hotel.
The room’s electric lock showed Too had entered the room the day prior with the key assigned to him.
So how can you protect yourself?
Super Circuits, a company in North Austin that specializes in security cameras, says when the “Do not disturb sign” doesn’t cut it, there are plenty of ways for a hotel guest, or anyone, to detect if someone is watching them.
“There’s three main types we’re going to push you towards. One is to find the physical camera, another to show the cell phone or GPS tracker, and the third is to find a wireless signal,” said Rob Thomas with Super Circuits.
The gadgets typically cost around $100 and can be found online. It’s an investment cautious guests might consider for their next hotel stay.
“I’m going to check everything,” said Bucher
Too was booked into Travis County Jail on April 12 with a $25,000 bail. He has since bonded out.
Police say they didn’t find evidence of any other victims on his cell phone. His computer is still being looked at.
At this time, the former housekeeper is facing up to one year in jail and a fine of no more than $4,000.
SEATTLE WA April 28 2013 — A man found sleeping in the stairwell on the 27th floor of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle attacked a security guard as he attempted to escape, according to the Seattle Police Department.
According to the police report for the incident, a security guard found the man shortly after 2:15 a.m. Monday and asked him to leave since he was not a guest at the hotel.
The man took off running through the hotel as the security guard gave chase. At one point, the man turned around and punched the security guard in the nose, according to the report.
The security guard chased the man out of the hotel where the man reportedly pulled a knife on him.
The man walked off, and the security guard continued to follow at a distance until officers arrived and arrested the man.
ROCK HILL SC April 23 2013 A Rock Hill motel room is destroyed and an Arkansas man in jail after police say he was cooking methamphetamine in the room, resulting in an explosion that set beds, a television and his own leg on fire early Sunday.
York County drug agents have charged Ronnie Kenneth Brady, 35, with his third manufacturing methamphetamine offense, said Marvin Brown, commander of the county’s multijurisdictional drug enforcement unit.
At about 12:55 a.m., the Rock Hill police and fire departments responded to the Rock Hill Motel on Riverview Road after someone called about a fire in a motel room and parking lot, Brown said. When responders arrived, the room was ablaze.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in the second-floor room, as well as a burning can of Coleman fuel, according to a York County drug unit incident report.
The drug unit and the county’s emergency management department arrived to help evacuate several rooms in the motel, Brown said.
Meanwhile, police found Brady with burns on his left leg at the corner of Riverview and Celanese roads after he fled the scene, Brown said.
According to the report, it appeared that he had been cooking meth when the one-pot lab –a soda bottle– went up in flames.
The gallon can of Coleman fuel, a petroleum-based gas, apparently caught fire, Brown said. Brady then threw the burning can into the parking lot, according to reports.
His leg caught on fire, Brown said, when he tried to stomp out the flames. He was treated by EMS.
The room itself suffered extensive damage as mattresses, television set and telephone caught on fire, Brown said.
“The room’s a total loss,” he said. “The ceiling is completely black.”
No other injuries were reported, and no estimate was available on how much damage was caused at the motel. Officials examined other nearby rooms, but did not report finding any other drug paraphernalia.
Motel management, staff and several guests declined to comment.
One pot meth labs, which take shape in Gatorade bottles, 2-liter soda bottles or any other “small vessel,” are condensed meth labs that are more mobile than their predecessors, said Lt. Max Dorsey with the State Law Enforcement Division last week.
Users fill the bottles with chemicals that react on their own and produce the meth in its liquid form, he said. The manufacturers then use another vessel with salt and acid to solidify the drug into a compound that they drain through a filter to produce the finished product.
“They’re manufacturing it as a ticking time bomb,” he said. “In the pots, you have a bomb potentially.”
Last year, 33-year-old Jason Alan Johnson, also known as “Convict,” was sentenced to 28 years in prison after police say he cooked 60 grams of meth in a room at the Rock Hill Motel in 2011.
Johnson’s co-defendant, Cory Seth Catoe, was also arrested and pleaded guilty to manufacturing meth. He was sentenced to two years in prison followed by two years’ probation.
On Tuesday, Catoe, 29, was behind bars again after deputies serving a family court bench warrant on him found that he and his girlfriend, Brooklyn Barrett Brandon, 26, had a 32-ounce Gatorade bottle they used for cooking 100 grams of meth on the windowsill of an Ebenezer Avenue Extension duplex.
Investigators searched the apartment, confiscating several chemicals. Both Catoe and Brandon remain jailed at the York County Detention Center without bond. Source: Charlotte Observer
Washington DC April 8 2013 A guest at a downtown Washington hotel was arrested Friday and charged with kidnapping and sexual abuse after an encounter with a woman he found unconscious in the lobby, according to D.C. police and court documents.
Police identified the suspect as David Millard, 60, of Honolulu. They said the incident occurred early Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on H Street NW.
According to a sworn statement filed by police, security camera footage from the hotel lobby showed a man carrying a woman who appeared to be unconscious toward the elevators.
In the statement, police said the woman told them that she drank alcohol before going to a hotel bar and drank more with co-workers at the bar. She said she remembered being in the bar and then nothing more until she awoke “totally undressed” in a hotel room Thursday morning next to a man.
When police later found her in the lobby, she was “visibly shaken and distraught,” authorities said.
An examination at a hospital showed injuries consistent with a sexual act, the statement said.
According to the statement, the suspect told police that he tried to help a woman whom he found “unconscious and/or passed out.” He said he took her to his room but did not force her and had her consent, the statement said.
Source- Washington Post
Two bodies, a man and a woman were found inside of a Days Inn hotel room near SE 25th and I-35 Wednesday evening.
It’s the last thing most students imagined when planning to spend their spring break in Panama City Beach, but for 561 people and counting this March, it’s become a reality. The booking center is located on the east end of Panama City Beach, just off of Thomas Drive, the same street as spring break super clubs Spinnaker and Club La Vela. This is the fourth year the BCSO has operated a temporary booking facility during spring break, and the second year at this location. There’s no water view at the facility which is housed in an unfinished townhouse development that fell victim to the housing bubble, and is now owned by Bay County. The center is open from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. during the peak college spring break season, from March 1 through the first week of April.
Generally those booked at the mobile outpost don’t stay there very long. There are two vans used to shuttle as many as 12 detainees per trip to the main jail. Anglin said that during busy times, the vans run constantly. Deputies at the booking center will load up one van while the other is en route.
“The first year we would take them and put them on the vans and hold them there until we had three, four, five people ready to be transported,” Anglin said. “A lot of these kids coming in are so intoxicated, some of them are on drugs, there are medical issues going on, so it was a high liability not being able to see them. Not to mention sometimes they would get sick and throw up in the van.” Anglin said that most of those who are facing criminal charges are also highly intoxicated. “Everyone who comes in here could be the next balcony fall, or the next person who drowns in the Gulf, or the next one who steps out into traffic,” he said. “The last thing we want is for something like that to happen. “That’s why we have things set up the way we do, so that even if someone gets highly intoxicated, we have a system in place to get them off the street, get them in a controlled setting for their own protection and get them any medical care they might need.”
Source: AL .com
The connection between the two suspects and Roberts is unclear, although Rains said Friday that Roberts knew Woods. Roberts was found shot near his clavicle in the parking lot of the Baymont Inn and Suites on West I-65 Service Road South.
Source: AL .com
HOOVER, Alabama April 1 2013- All fifteen Ross Bridge Golf and Resort guests treated for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are recovering, and those still hospitalized are expected to be discharged soon, said Hoover fire Executive Officer Rusty Lowe.
Deputies said they were called to the Savannah Suites on Wade Hampton Boulevard just before 11 p.m. Wednesday about a disturbance in the parking lot.
LOS ANGELES CA Feb 20 2013 (Reuters) – A body found in a large water tank on top of a downtown Los Angeles hotel on Tuesday may belong to a 21-year-old Canadian woman who went missing under suspicious circumstances while staying there late last month, police said.
Elisa Lam, a student from Vancouver, British Columbia, who was visiting Southern California on her own, was last seen at the Cecil Hotel on January 31. Los Angeles Police detectives had characterized her disappearance as suspicious.
A security video taken in an elevator at the hotel and released by the LAPD last week showed Lam acting strangely, hiding in a corner and repeatedly peering around the elevator doors into the hallway.
A body had been found in one of four large water tanks on top of the Cecil Hotel early on Tuesday after a maintenance worker went up to investigate reports of low water pressure, a Los Angeles police spokeswoman said.
Detectives were on the scene, but had not yet determined whether the remains were those of the missing woman, the spokeswoman said.
Some two dozen firefighters could be seen cutting through one of the four large, cylindrical water tanks under a canopy that shielded them from news helicopters overhead.
Police have said that the reason for Lam’s visit to Los Angeles was unclear, but that her final destination was expected to be Santa Cruz in central California.
She speaks Cantonese as well as English and was known to use public transportation such as trains and buses.
New York City NY Feb 18 2013 Three slick thieves smashed and grabbed $2 million in bling from a Four Seasons display case just feet from the Midtown hotel’s front desk yesterday — and made a clean getaway, The Post has learned.
The crooks snatched three watches, a necklace, earrings, rings, cuff links and pendants from the Jacob & Co. case at around 2 a.m. and fled in a waiting car on East 57th Street, sources said.
“It was quick. They hit us, smash and grab, gone,” a security worker said. “We certainly didn’t expect to get hit there.”
With an accomplice waiting in the car, the other two men waltzed into the famed hotel and ascended two flights of stairs to get to the ornate lobby surrounded by a dozen windowed cases from an assortment of high-end retailers.
They struck up a conversation with a hotel staffer about the Jacob & Co. case while concealing a sledgehammer, sources said.
When the coast was clear, one of the thugs smashed the glass and they scooped out the jewels. The pair then strolled untouched out the front door.
Their escape was assisted by a shocking amount of faulty surveillance cameras in the Four Seasons lobby.
“Can you believe that most of the cameras in the hotel are not functional?” a source said.
The embarrassing breach, sources say, has hotel security team members fearing the worst.
“Trust me, someone in security is worried about his job,” one source said.
Detectives were poring over video footage taken from the Avakian Boutique jewelry shop steps away from the concierge desk.
E-mails and voice messages left with the hotel and its staff were not immediately returned.
“The [hotel] is trying to keep it hush-hush,” a source said.
Hours after the heist, the hotel’s security detail was spare and staffers stumped.
“The glass broke,” said one worker in the lobby — where the panel that once held the Jacob & Co. jewelry was boarded up with a black fiber wooden block.
“I can’t tell you nothing about nothing,” said a man named Neil, who identified himself as hotel security.
“I haven’t heard of any incidents,” the manager said, before suggesting the wares were all housed by Jacob & Co.’s store across the street. “I’m not aware of anything happening.”
The security snafu was a surprise to one law-enforcement source.
“In the past, their security has been good,” the source said.
A guest of the Four Seasons was taken aback after learning about the theft.
“I’m incredulous,” said Allan Plank, who was in town on business.
Jacob & Co. is owned by “Jacob the Jeweler” Arabov, 47, a jeweler to the stars who is known in rap circles as the “King of Bling.”
He has his share of trouble with the IRS — and served more than two years behind bars in 2008 for misleading feds probing a money-laundering operation by Detroit’s Black Mafia gang.
Nobody was home yesterday at Arabov’s two-story brick house in Forest Hills, Queens, which is currently under a tax lien.
A neighbor said he was out of the country.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. Feb 16 2013 – Three men have been charged after a meth lab explosion inside a room at a Maury County motel.
Adam Arabis, 23, Raymond Stringfellow, 50, and Derrel Pack, 43, were charged with three counts of reckless endangerment, promotion of meth, manufacture of meth and other charges.
Officials said they got reports of the explosion at the Polk Motel on Nashville Highway in Columbia around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
“We arrived to see smoke, a small bit of flames, occupants coming out of the structure,” said Mark Gandee from the Columbia Fire Department.
Sergeant Jeremy Haywood from the Columbia Police Department said two of the men were injured in the blast, and both were taken to Maury Regional Medical Center for treatment. They were first decontaminated in the hotel parking lot.
“We do just a precautionary decon with soap and water, put tyveck paper suit just to take care of EMS, because they’re in a small confined area,” said Chief Lee Bergeron from the Columbia Police Department.
The other man fled the scene, but was later taken into custody.
The affected portion of the hotel was evacuated while crews investigated.
SAN DIEGO CA Jan 31 2013 (AP) — A powerful explosion on Wednesday ripped through a hotel near SeaWorld San Diego from a room where authorities say a couple was extracting hash oil, sending guests fleeing for safety.
A 22-year-old man in the room suffered life-threatening injuries. Also hurt were a woman in the room and a young man staying next door, authorities said. All three were hospitalized.
Julie Jordan of San Diego was sleeping with a friend’s baby in a nearby room at the three-story Heritage Inn Sea World Hotel when she felt the building shake violently, then heard a loud explosion. She ran outside and saw a shattered window and a badly injured man sitting at the bottom of some stairs moaning.
“People were screaming and running, and a man was burned from head to toe,” said Jordan, 30. “His skin was falling off.”
Investigators found several boxes containing canisters of butane inside the room where the blast occurred, police Lt. Joseph Ramos said.
The butane apparently was ignited by a cigarette, Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque said. The second-floor room looked like a “war zone,” he said.
“It was a very intense and devastating explosion,” Luque said.
Hash oil is made by packing finely ground stems and leaves of marijuana plants in a pipe and pouring butane through it, said Amy Roderick, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which is leading the investigation. The liquid typically is then cooked on a stove to separate the butane.
Hash oil averages about 15 percent THC, the chief intoxicant in marijuana, according to the DEA. A drop or two is about as potent as a marijuana cigarette.
The DEA did not confirm that a cigarette ignited the butane or know the size of the drug operation.
“It just looks like a bomb that blew up there,” Roderick said. “It’s hard for us to tell what was going on there.”
The DEA will review the evidence before deciding whether to send the case to the San Diego County district attorney’s office for criminal charges.
Authorities said the couple in the room where the explosion occurred suffered burns, and the man in the neighboring room had bruises, cuts and possible burns.
The badly burned man was in “very, very serious” condition, Luque said. His female companion and the man in the next room — both believed to be around 20 years old — were in moderate condition. Their names were not released.
Joseph Tydingco, 52, rushed out of his room after what felt like a major earthquake and saw black smoke billowing from rooms. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and, with another guest, removed mattresses as they heard people screaming outside.
Tydingco, a SeaWorld maintenance worker, estimated that walls collapsed in six rooms. Police said at least four rooms were destroyed or badly damaged.
The blaze was mostly under control within minutes of the blast, which happened at about 11:15 a.m.
Tydingco said the hotel largely caters to vacationing families on tight budgets and local residents who lack enough cash to sign a rental lease.
New Orleans firefighters Saturday evening battled a four-alarm fire at the InterContinental Hotel that originated in a laundry room. All 600 guests — 85 percent of maximum occupancy — at the Central Business District hotel were evacuated.
They were temporarily sheltered at a Hilton Hotel across St. Charles Avenue, said Capt. Edwin Holmes Jr., a spokesman for the New Orleans Fire Department.
No injuries were reported.
The fire at the hotel at 444 St. Charles Ave. began around 6:20 p.m. in a fourth-floor laundry room. A sprinkler system contained the blaze to that floor, but water leaked onto the third floor, Holmes said.
While 90 firefighters from 31 units battled the flames and smoke, hotel guests were provided snacks and drinks in a conference room in the Hilton. Many guests complained that the NFL playoff game they had been watching was interrupted.
We were watching the game in our room and then a voice came over the intercom, saying, ‘There’s a fire, stay calm, everyone needs to get out, take the stairs,’” said Chris Woodard, a tourist visiting from Nashville, Tenn., who was set to depart Sunday on a cruise to Belize. “We grabbed all the necessities — billfold, telephone. I wanted to grab our luggage, but my husband wouldn’t let me.” As guests streamed out of their rooms and into the stairwells, the smell of smoke grew more intense, Woodard said.
Beth and Ken Hough, tourists from Santa Barbara, Calif., said they had been napping in their eighth-floor room before an 8 p.m. reservation at Commander’s Palace. “They’re not gonna let us in now,” Ken Hough said, pointing to his sneakers and jeans. “We’re gonna have to find somewhere more casual to eat.”
Exhausted from a long flight, an Australian family had just arrived at the hotel at the time of the fire. “The taxi driver just dumped the bags on the street, and he says, ‘Oh you will have to make your way across to the hotel,’” said Peter Mumford, 51, of Brisbane, who said he is staying in town for a week with his wife and 14-year-old son.
“It is what it is,” he said, smiling. “Stuff happens.”
The fire was brought under control by 8:30 p.m. The fire and smoke damage was contained to the laundry area, though the lobby and meetings spaces suffered water damage, said Andrew Done, a spokesman for the InterContinental.
While no guest rooms were damaged, the smell of smoke throughout the hotel was too pungent to allow guests back in for more than a few minutes, Done said.
Done said the hotel staff arranged accommodations for all the guests at four nearby hotels: the Hilton, the International House, the Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn in the French Quarter. Guests were allowed back into their InterContinental rooms around 10 p.m. to retrieve their luggage.
On Sunday, crews will try to air out the hotel. “It’s too early to tell when people might be able to stay in the rooms again,” Done said.
DICKSON COUNTY, TN Jan 3 2012 – A man was killed and another was injured in a late-night shooting outside a hotel in Dickson.
Police were called to the Holiday Inn Express off Highway 46, near Interstate 40, around 11:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Police identified the victims as 29-year-old Matthew Draper, and his cousin, 23-year-old Cody Jackson. Jackson drove himself and Draper to the hospital in a personal vehicle, where Draper was pronounced dead.
Jackson was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in stable condition.
Family members told NewsChannel 5 that Draper jumped in front of Jackson to shield him from the gunfire. The men were both from Hartsville.
The shooting happened outside of the hotel, and police said no one had any affiliation with the hotel.
Dickson Police said the shooter had left the scene before police arrived, but they issued a BOLO (Be on the Lookout) for a maroon SUV. They said they have at least one person of interest who they planned to speak to, and are actively following leads.
A motive for the shooting was not immediately known.
SAN DIEGO CA Dec 28 2012 — A 44-year-old man arrested in an October rape case, then released, has been jailed again, suspected now of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, San Diego police said Wednesday.
Christopher Stevens was arrested at the Vagabond Inn in Mission Valley on Monday, hours after crime lab technicians linked him to DNA from both crime scenes, police Lt. Anastasia Smith said.
Stevens was jailed on new charges of attempted murder, forcible rape, assault and false imprisonment.
In the most recent case, a 54-year-old woman had just finished cleaning a vacant room Friday at the Wyndham Garden Hotel on Sports Arena Boulevard when a man confronted her and forced her back inside, Smith said.
The woman fought back as she was beaten and raped, Smith said. Her attacker then left, and the woman called 911 about 1:20 p.m. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Smith said crime lab personnel analyzed DNA evidence in the hotel room and found it matched other DNA from a sexual assault case at Hourglass Field Community Park in Miramar on Oct. 9.
Late that night, a woman was walking through the park and was assaulted by a man she knew, identified as Stevens, Smith said. Stevens was arrested on Oct. 13 and jailed.
The District Attorney’s Office did not file charges against Stevens and he was released, office spokesman Steve Walker said. He said prosecutors are barred legally from filing charges if they aren’t sure the case can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Stevens will be arraigned on Friday, Walker said. He did not say whether Stevens would be charged in both cases.
CINCINNATI OHIO DEC 8 2012— Authorities have identified the hotel security guard who was found dead this morning, and police say he had suffered “an apparent stab wound.”
ONTARIO CA Nov 18 2012 – A man wanted out of Nevada apparently shot and killed himself inside an Ontario hotel room Friday afternoon when confronted by police officers, Ontario Police Department officials said.
Ontario authorities were alerted the unidentified man was staying in the Best Western in the 3400 block of E. Shelby Street in Ontario, according to Sgt. Bill Russell of the Ontario Police Department.
When officers approached the hotel around 1:30 p.m., the man, who was wanted for the alleged exploitation of an elderly person, ran into a hotel room and refused to come out, Russell said.
Officers heard a shot and when they entered the room, they found the man suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, Russell confirmed. It appears the man shot himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities are still investigating the incident.