A night manager at a Hilton Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., was arrested on Friday after he entered a sleeping guest’s room to suck on the customer’s toes, according to local police.
The Nashville Police Department charged David Neal, 52, with aggravated burglary and assault in connection with the March 30 incident.
Neal allegedly created a replica key card and used it to enter the room of hotel guest Pete Brennan around 5 a.m. local time. Though Brennan had been asleep, he awoke to find Neal sucking on his toes and immediately confronted the staff member, police reported.
Brennan, a Texas native who was staying in Nashville for a business meeting, recognized Neal as an employee who had visited the room the day before with another employee to fix a TV issue.
Neal told police he entered Brennan’s room to investigate the smell of smoke. The Hilton manager did not alert security to the smell of smoke or make any formal report.
When questioned, he told police he had thrown the room key copy away. It has not been recovered.
The Hilton Nashville Downtown Hotel gave a statement to the news station WKRN:
“The safety and security of our guests and team members is our highest priority. We are working closely with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, and, as part of company policy, we do not comment on ongoing investigations.”
Brennan has since filed a lawsuit against the Hilton Nashville Downtown Hotel, claiming he was sexually assaulted by the employee.
“Mr. Brennan was vulnerable and taken advantage of while he was asleep,” the lawsuit reads.
After Neal fled his hotel room, Brennan reported the incident to onsite security, who “did not appear to take his complaint seriously,” as per the filing. Brennan instead called police.
Brennan and his lawyer claimed the Hilton has not apologized for Neal’s behaviour, which allegedly left Brennan with “severe psychological injuries.”
“All my life you just have that sense of security, and that sense of peace, right? It’s not like you’re camping and you have to kind of keep one eye open,” Brennan told WKRN of staying at a Hilton Hotel. “You have that security that’s yours, and when you close your eyes, you feel like you’re safe and you’re protected and it was a complete violation.”
“I was just so, so shocked,” he continued. “It was, ‘Who are you? Why are you in my room?’ It was almost like a dream, a sort of nightmare. It just didn’t make sense. Why is this person touching me?”
A spokesperson for Hilton’s corporate office told the news outlet, “The Hilton Nashville Downtown is an independently owned property and I cannot speak on the hotel’s behalf.”
Neal has been jailed on US$27,000 bond.