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NYPD cops made the bust of a lifetime last month, when 104lbs of cocaine was seized from traffickers who were staying at the Crowne Plaza Times Square (aka the hotel that sits on top of the Hershey's Store.)
The hotel's flashy facade and central location was likely seen by the traffickers as an advantage: what better than sugar-crazed tourists bustling around a Times Square hotel to throw the cops off your scent?
Except the cops were very much onto their scent.
The NY Post reports that cops had been parked outside the hotel, waiting for the traffickers to make their move. Sure enough, on October 25 at around 6pm, the first man exited the hotel, wheeling a suitcase packed with 30lbs of pure cocaine, which he then lifted into a silver BMW. And then another guy came out with an 8lb suitcase. And then another, with 66lbs. We're telling you, it was a real cocaine suitcase factory line down there last month!
We've all been there: You're in your hotel room. Some movie's playing on TV and you're hooked. You're starving but don't feel like getting out of bed. So, you do what any red-blooded hotel guest would do: order room service.
37-year-old Daniel DiFranco was staying at America's Best Value Inn & Suites in Ohio last week when he got a major pizza craving. And, since that particular brand of hotel—well, motel, really—doesn't do room service (though WiFi and continental breakfast are included!), he picked up the phone and tried to order a pizza. Which, for whatever reason, didn't quite work out as planned.
That's when things got ugly.
A Central African Republic man decided that he would rack up about $15,000 worth of nights, meals and services at the Ledger Plaza and then do a runner, not paying his bill. Eventually, the man was questioned alongside the hotel manager weird and the police decided to lock up the hotel guest. The twist to the story is that the man is named Kevin Bozize and if you know anything about politics in Africa, you may know that his father is Francois Bozize, the President of CAR. The president didn't do any pardons here as he was the man that ordered his own son to head into lock up.
This comes on the heels of another man in Mozambique who has been locked up for 3 months after not stopping by reception at check-out. The South African man has not been formally charged, but is still detained for sneaking out on a bill that totaled around $611. Not huge numbers, but either way, it's not cool to stiff a hotel after you've taken advantage of their turn-down service.
Ah, Miami. The city of pristine white beaches, fake boobs, and more Art Deco than you can shake a geometric tail feather at. Hotels, too. Plenty of hotels. Some of them classic, some of them new and flashy, and some of them places where people get stabbed.
We checked into our mid-range South Beach hotel on Tuesday night, pleased with ourselves for scoring a centrally-located hotel within our budget (under $200). Except that when we walked into the lobby, the first thing we saw was crime scene tape, and a whole bunch of police officers.
"Um, what happened?" we asked as calmly as possible.
"Oh, there was an incident this morning. A pimp stabbed one of his hookers," the concierge told me.
"Did anybody die?"
"Oh, no," he answered, as though we'd asked if someone had fallen and scraped their knee.
Not interested in saying much more, he swiped our credit card, handed us our room key, and invited us to happy hour in the bar at 7pm. We weren't exactly thrilled at the idea of staying some place a stabbing had occurred just hours earlier, but then again, we'd already been on the road for nine hours, and we needed a shower and a nap. So we reluctantly picked up our bags, got into the elevator and pressed "3."
Read on to find out the name of the hotel we stayed at!
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A little over a week ago we showed you the brawl that went down between two wedding parties in the lobby of Philly's Sheraton Society Hill. It was a tragic event that resulted in the death of a 57-year-old man reported to be one of the bride's uncles, and it sure as hell ruined what was supposed to be a beautiful day for four families. While it pales in comparison to the passing of a man who is believed to have been an innocent bystander, we are curious as to what, if anything, the hotel has done for those guests who may have been disturbed or disrupted by the 100-person brouhaha. As you can see from the photo below, the lobby eerily looks like an arena, the corridors in front of the rooms all looking down over it.
Our e-mails to the hotel requesting comment on this matter haven't been returned, so we went on foot yesterday to see if we could get some answers. We were directed by the front desk staff to Susan Carney, the Director of Human Resources, who entertained our questions but declined to make a statement. Due to an on-going investigation, she said the hotel didn't plan on making one anytime soon.Yes, things are getting complicated.
The 26-year old employee, who is from India and worked in the reservations department, admitted to the crime and apologized. He was tried in Dubai’s Criminal Court and sentenced to six months jail time yesterday.
The crime occurred on September 27th when the Kempinski Hotel guest asked his bank about an unrecognized charge on his credit card bill from the airline. It was determined that the purchase date was the same as his stay at the Kempinski, located in the Mall of the Emirates. The guest then reported the incident to the police, who then tracked the name on the ticket and subsequently arrested the hotel employee. He will be deported after his prison term.
A 15-year-old in Philadelphia to celebrate his birthday recorded part of a fight that broke out between dozens of guests from two wedding parties at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel early Sunday morning. The altercation, authorities say, was fueled by booze and began in the lobby bar before spilling out into the lobby. The video, shot from the balcony above the lobby, shows police officers with batons attempting to control the crowd. At one point, it appears one of the brides becomes detained by officers, and you can hear screams of panic throughout the entire clip.
Had that been it – drunk wedding guests hell bent on ruining a beautiful occasion – this story would be just another Hotel Guests Behaving Badly moment. However, while it's currently unknown if he was directly involved with the fight, a 57-year-old man suffered a heart attack during the incident, collapsing outside the hotel and passing away at Jefferson Hospital shortly after. NBC Philadelphia reports that the man was one of the bride’s uncles. You can see the video of the fight here, as well as some raw news footage from outside the hotel.
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We're not sure how this one managed to fly under our radar, though this isn't exactly the kind of thing we receive media alerts about, either. Turns out an employee at Omni San Diego was recently caught planting a hidden camera inside one of the hotel's public bathrooms. Ick!
The good news? The camera was found within hours of being installed. The bad news? Well, we're not sure which is more troubling: the act itself, or the fact that, because of what happened, Omni staff had to conduct an "exhaustive search" throughout all the hotel's bathrooms looking for other possible hidden devices. Ick again!
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Great, now we have a new thing to worry about that could potentially be killing us in our hotel room—or at least making things really uncomfortable.
A 26--year-old man has been arrested for setting up a makeshift "shake-and-bake" meth lab in his third-floor room at the Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City.
But to make matters worse, Homeland Security chief Joe Sullivan tells Philly.com that this new practice of contaminating your hotel room with dozens of toxic chemicals while manufacturing methamphetamine is actually becoming a "popular" thing to do.
We’ve heard of some desperate moves to get out of paying a bar tab, but this is one takes the cake. Last Saturday, a 30-year old (word is he’s named Jason Pace) allegedly attempted to skip out on a bill he racked up at a Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire.
The man, reported by the Manchester Union-Leader newspaper to be from North Carolina, tried to make a break for it and ran out the hotel and jumped its fence. But an Olympic high jumper the dude is not, and he became impaled on 18 inches of said fence after a failed scaling attempt.
The Manchester Fire Department found him balancing precariously on one leg with a spike pierced through the other. Reports say it took a team of eight firefighters to free Pace, using saws, hydraulic cutting tools, and a cutting wheel to cut away the fence stuck to his leg. He was then transported to Elliot Hospital Trauma Center where he underwent a successful surgery.
So far, no word on whether he’ll face charges for his antics, but our guess is he hasn't got a leg to stand on in court. Heh.
[Photo: Jeffrey Hastings/The Daily Mail]
We learn something new every day here at HotelChatter. While most people think of hotel rooms as places to relax, be naughty, get work done, or just plain sleep, a NY Post story yesterday confirmed one new use for them we'd never even thought of: harboring illegal guns.
A man was arrested back in January for inappropriately hugging a room service maid (it was actually the un-registered guns on his bed, rather than the hugging, that got him in bigger trouble) at the Radisson Lexington.
But he's off the hook now, since, as his lawyer's cleverly deduced, the guns weren't actually illegal because they were found in his private residence. Well, gee.
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Here's one to send your creep-o-meter through the roof: a Florida man has finally been caught after sneaking into the hotel rooms of recently checked-out guests and "extending" their stay. Kind of like Goldilocks, except this guy sounds way less picky.
Guests at multiple hotels, including Ritz-Carlton, Hard Rock and Loews Portofino Bay, were all victims of the hotel freeloader, who apparently had pretty expensive tastes when it came to room service. Too bad it wasn't his credit card that were paying for all the fun.