Tag: arrested

Man arrested for Renton arson at COVID-19 hotel for homeless

RENTON — A man staying at a hotel in Renton for people experiencing homelessness with COVID-19 was arrested after a hotel room caught fire, police said.

Renton firefighters responded to fire in a sixth floor room inside the Red Lion Hotel on Wednesday afternoon, KOMO-TV reported.

Firefighters said a sprinkler controlled the fire and it was contained to the room. No injuries were reported. The building was evacuated and six rooms were damaged by water or smoke. People staying in those rooms were moved to different rooms at the hotel, according to authorities.

Since April, firefighters and medics have been called to the hotel 277 times.

The hotel’s use as a temporary shelter has caused a dispute between city and King County officials.

County officials have said the arrangement at the Red Lion Hotel has slowed the spread of the coronavirus. The city says it has led to an increase in crime in the area.

City officials are on track to consider legislation that would set a six-month move-out date at the Red Lion, where nearly 250 people have been living since April.

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Man arrested for arson at Renton hotel sheltering 200 homeless people

The Red Lion Hotel was turned into a homeless shelter shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently housing around 200 homeless people.

RENTON, Wash. — A 46-year-old man staying at a hotel-turned-homeless shelter in Renton was arrested after allegedly setting his hotel room on fire.

Renton firefighters and police responded to the fire in a sixth-floor room inside the Red Lion Hotel around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. The hotel was turned into a homeless shelter shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently housing around 200 homeless people.

The Renton Police Department said a witness pointed out a man to officers outside the hotel and said he was the one who started the fire. Police said the man was detained for questioning.

Investigators learned the 46-year-old suspect had lived at the hotel for about three weeks and became upset with staff members. Police said the man told hotel staff he was “going to burn this place down.”

Police said the suspect locked himself in his hotel room on the sixth floor and hotel staff called a locksmith for help. As the locksmith and hotel staff approached the room, they encountered thick smoke on the sixth floor and found the suspect standing in the doorway of his room, police said.

The locksmith tried to enter the room with a fire extinguisher but was held back by the smoke and heat.

Police said the suspect eventually walked out of his room and went outside where he was arrested.

Firefighters said a sprinkler controlled the fire. The fire started on a couch and was contained to the room, according to the preliminary arson investigation.

Six rooms were damaged by water or smoke, and police said there was “extensive” smoke and fire damage to the fifth and sixth floors. People staying in the damaged rooms were relocated to different rooms at the hotel.

No injuries were reported.

A fire official told police the fire put multiple lives in danger. The suspect was booked into the King County Regional Justice Center for investigation of first-degree arson.

RELATED: Renton considers vacating Red Lion Hotel sheltering 200 homeless people

Renton city leaders have been considering a plan that would force the homeless people staying at the Red Lion Hotel to move elsewhere.

The city council is mulling a six-month plan to vacate the hotel. This comes amid disagreements between officials and leaders at the Red Lion Hotel over the hotel’s operation and the number of homeless occupants.

Chip Vincent, the administrator for Renton’s Community & Economic Development department, said there have been several concerns brought to the city by leaders and residents about the recent influx of homeless tenants and how it could affect the city in the future. There have been several ordinances proposed to head off any possible issues.

So far, King County and the city of Renton haven’t been able to agree on terms regarding the space. As a result, King County was issued a violation, which it

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Man arrested for arson after fire set in Renton hotel housing homeless people

A homeless man was arrested for arson after a couch was set afire in a room at the Red Lion Hotel in Renton Wednesday morning, according to the Renton Police Department. Since April, the hotel has provided shelter to more than 200 people in an effort to thin out crowded shelters and protect people from the spread of COVID-19.

Renton firefighter crews responded to the fire on the sixth floor and said a sprinkler system helped to contain the flames. The building was evacuated, and no injuries were reported, according to The Associated Press.

Six rooms were damaged by water or smoke. People staying in those rooms were moved to different rooms at the hotel.

According to a Thursday statement by the Police Department, the suspect, a 46-year-old man who had lived at the hotel for three weeks, became upset with staff members. He told staff, “I’m going to burn this place down,” according to a statement by police. A preliminary arson investigation indicated that the fire started on a couch. 

The Renton hotel has primarily housed people who were previously staying at the Downtown Emergency Service Center’s Morrison Hotel shelter in Seattle. Many of those served by this shelter have disabilities, serious mental illness or substance use disorders, according to previous reporting by The Seattle Times. 

King County is currently paying for the hotel, along with three other hotels in the region, to house those who are homeless. The county spends close to $2 million per month for use of the hotels, according to Sherry Hamilton, spokesperson for the King County Department of Community and Human Services. 

Early into the county’s use of the Red Lion Hotel, Renton city officials started pushing back. In May, Renton leaders publicly asked King County to move people living at the hotel out by July, citing a large increase in 911 calls. 

According to earlier reporting by The Seattle Times, Renton police Chief Ed VanValey told the King County Council in early May that there had been a 79% increase in calls from the hotel’s location — sometimes nine to 12 calls in a single day. Renton Regional Fire Authority Chief Rick Marshall told the council the fire department fielded 30 calls in April, whereas over the same period last year it fielded one.  

This week, Renton city officials rushed forward legislation that would set a six-month move-out date at the Red Lion. Renton City Council could vote the legislation into law as early as next week, when it comes up for a first reading.

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Suspected arsonist arrested in Renton hotel fire

RENTON, Wash. — A man who was living a controversial hotel-turned-homeless shelter in Renton has been arrested after allegedly setting fire to his room, endangering several lives and forcing the complex evacuation of some 200 people, police said.

Firefighters responded to the Red Lion Hotel on South Grady Way in Renton just after noon Wednesday for reports of a fire in a 6th floor room.

As firefighters worked to douse the fire, a witness led police to a man standing outside the building who they claimed had started the blaze.

Investigators learned the man had been living at the shelter for about three weeks and had become upset with hotel staff members Wednesday morning telling them, “I’m going to burn this place down,” according to Renton Police. The man then locked himself in his 6th floor room.

A locksmith was called to break open the door but as he and staff members approached the room they found thick smoke on the floor and the man standing in his doorway. The locksmith grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to get into the room but there was already too much heat and smoke.

The suspect eventually made it outside where he was  arrested by police.

Investigators determined the man had set fire to a couch inside the room and while the flames were contained to the one room thanks to help from the sprinkler system, there was extensive smoke and fire damage to the 5th and 6th floors of the building, police said.

Officers said some of the 200 residents suffer from mental and physical disabilities and it made for a very difficult evacuation. Fire department officials said the fire “had placed multiple lives in danger.”

The 46-year-old suspect has since been booked into the King County Regional Justice Center for investigation of first degree arson. 

Several prior calls to hotel

Since the beginning of April, firefighters and medics have been called to the hotel 277 times.

The hotel has been housing homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s use as a temporary homeless shelter has caused a dispute between city and county officials.

The county says the homeless housing arrangement at the Red Lion Hotel has slowed the spread of coronavirus, but the city says it has led to an increase in crime in the area.

City officials are on track to consider legislation that would set a six-month move-out date. City officials have been concerned after King County and the Downtown Emergency Services Center moved people from Seattle’s largest congregate shelter to the hotel in April. Municipal officials say Renton police reported a dramatic increase in service calls to the hotel, blaming some neighborhood crime on its residents.

King County has rented all 255 rooms at the Renton Red Lion, but Renton Mayor Armondo Pavone has previously asked the King County Council to remove the clients after its original 90-day lease had expired.

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Groom arrested before honeymoon vacation for having loaded gun in carry-on bag: TSA

A Virginia groom made a costly mistake when packing his honeymoon carry-on bag, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The man, who remains unidentified, was reportedly arrested on Saturday for having a loaded 9 mm handgun in his carry-on luggage at the Richmond International Airport, the TSA shared in a press release.

WOMAN CHARGED FOR ILLEGALLY BOARDING PLANE AT CHICAGO’S O’HARE AIRPORT

A TSA officer detected the handgun at a security checkpoint and found that it was loaded with eight bullets and had one in the chamber. The man’s belongings had gone through the checkpoint’s X-ray machine.

Airport police were alerted about the firearm and responded to the checkpoint. The handgun was confiscated while the Dinwiddie County man who had packed it was arrested.

NOT-SO-‘GOODFELLAS’ BUSTED IN $6M JFK AIRPORT HEIST

The man was originally scheduled to fly to Hawaii with his wife for their honeymoon. He reportedly told officials that he had forgotten that he was in possession of the loaded firearm.

On Nov. 14, a loaded handgun was detected by the TSA at Richmond International Airport. (Transportation Security Administration)

On Nov. 14, a loaded handgun was detected by the TSA at Richmond International Airport. (Transportation Security Administration)

It is not clear whether the man has been released or permitted to continue his journey.

Representatives at the Richmond International Airport did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

ANOTHER JETPACK REPORTED FLYING NEAR LOS ANGELES AIRPORT, IDENTITY REMAINS UNKNOWN

“When you’re packing for a flight, my advice is to make sure that your baggage is empty when you start to pack to ensure that there is nothing prohibited in it,” said Chuck Burke, the TSA’s Federal Security Director at the Richmond International Airport, in a statement.

The TSA as a whole has seized more firearms in the last year than previous years. In 2019, there were 4,432 firearms found in carry-on bags nationwide, which was notably up by 5% from the year prior. Eighty-seven percent of those detected firearms were loaded, according to the TSA’s internal data.

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At Richmond International Airport, there have been 18 guns found by the TSA so far, which is tied with how many were discovered at the same airport for the entire year of 2017.

The TSA has a thorough webpage on how to transport firearms and ammunition by air. The federal agency also encourages travelers to contact their chosen airline to ensure they have packed these items properly.

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A civil penalty in the form of a fee can be issued by the TSA, which can range between $4,100 and $13,669 depending on the circumstances. Civil penalties can also be be applied to travelers who have concealed carry permits.

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TripAdvisor issues warning about hotel after guest arrested for bad reviews

American Wesley Barnes was accused of causing "damage to the reputation of the hotel" (file photo).

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American Wesley Barnes was accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel” (file photo).

TripAdvisor has issued a warning for travellers after a customer was arrested for posting scathing reviews about his stay at a Thai hotel.

The travel-review platform added a special notice to its listing for the Sea View Resort & Spa in Koh Chang, Thailand, a hotel booked earlier this year by US citizen Wesley Barnes, who had been working in the area at the time.

He was arrested in September by immigration police and briefly forced to return to the island after giving the resort a single star out of five along with a negative review online.

“Unfriendly staff, no one ever smiles,” Barnes wrote in a July review.

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“They act like they don’t want anyone there. The restaurant manger was the worst. He is from the Czech Republic. He is extremely impolite and rude.”

In a second review posted in June, which has since been removed by TripAdvisor for violating its guidelines, Barnes accused the hotel of relying on “modern day slavery” to function, according to the AFP.

“We think it is very unfair that you have chosen to try to give a very negative image of our wonderful resort and our very friendly staff so we would like to shed some light on what made you go this far,” Tom Storup, rooms division manager, wrote in a response also posted on TripAdvisor.

He said Barnes and his group had brought their own liquor into the resort’s restaurant – which is against the rules – and then “used abusive language” while he refused to pay the $16 corkage fee.

The resort previously said it opted to sue Barnes because he left “multiple and slanderous reviews on TripAdvisor and Google”. He was arrested in the case and spent two nights in jail while he struggled to make bail.

If convicted, he would have faced up to two years behind bars.

Earlier this month, the resort said it would drop its charges against Barnes if he issued a public apology, to which he agreed.

Upon his safe return to the United States, TripAdviser added a notice to its site, warning future visitors about posting negative reviews about the resort.

“This hotel or individuals associated with this hotel filed criminal charges against a TripAdvisor user in relation to the traveller writing and posting online reviews. The reviewer spent time in jail as a result,” the website said.

“The hotel may have been exercising its legal rights under local law, however, it is our role to inform you so you may take this into consideration when researching your travel plans.”

TripAdvisor said it is the first warning of its kind on the site.

In a statement, the review platform said it believed in

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Man fatally shot outside Eagan hotel; suspect released from prison in May is arrested

A violent felon was jailed Tuesday on suspicion of fatally shooting a man outside an Eagan hotel.

The gunfire occurred shortly before 9 p.m. Monday at the Sonesta Suites, just off the Lone Oak Road exit of Interstate 35E, police said.

Officers arrived at the scene and found the victim on the grass on the south side of the hotel with several gunshot wounds, according to police and emergency dispatch audio. His identity has yet to be released.

Police soon stopped a car leaving the area and took a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman into custody. The woman was later released.

The male suspect, who is from St. Paul, was released from prison in May after being sentenced in 2016 for illegal weapons possession. He has yet to be charged in Monday’s shooting. The Star Tribune generally does not identify suspects before they are charged.

Authorities have yet to say whether the victim and the gunman were acquainted before the shooting. Police also have yet to address a motive for the killing.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call police at 651-675-5799.

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Man fatally shot outside Eagan hotel; 2 in car with out of state plates are arrested

A man was fatally shot outside a hotel in Eagan, and two people who drove from the scene were quickly taken into custody, authorities said Tuesday.

The gunfire occurred shortly before 9 p.m. Monday at the Sonesta Suites, just off the Lone Oak Road exit of Interstate 35E, police said.

Officers arrived at the scene and found the gunshot victim on the grass on the south side of the hotel, according to police and emergency dispatch audio.

Police soon stopped a car leaving the area and took a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman into custody. The car had Kentucky license plates, the dispatch audio disclosed.

The man was shot several times, the audio revealed.

Authorities haven’t identified the homicide victim or the suspects, and “whether they knew each other is still under investigation,” said police officer Aaron Machtemes.

Police also have yet to address a motive for the shooting.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call police at 651-675-5799.

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Man fatally shot at Eagan hotel; 2 arrested

A man was fatally shot at a hotel in Eagan, and two people are in custody, authorities said Tuesday.

The gunfire occurred shortly before 9 p.m. Monday at the Sonesta Suites, just off the Lone Oak Road exit of Interstate 35E, police said.

Officers arrived at the scene and found the gunshot victim on the south side of the hotel, according to police.

Police soon stopped a vehicle leaving the area and took a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman into custody.

Authorities haven’t identified the homicide victim or the suspects, and “whether they knew each other is still under investigation,” said police officer Aaron Machtemes.

Police also have yet to address a motive for the shooting.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call police at 651-675-5799.

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Fort Hood soldier arrested in 2019 murder of woman found dead at hotel

A Fort Hood soldier has been arrested in the slaying of a woman found dead at a Texas hotel last year.



a sign on the side of a road: A Fort Hood soldier has been arrested in connection with the 2019 killing of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham in Killeen, Texas, according to a news release from the Killeen Police Department.


© Jack Plunkett/FRE
A Fort Hood soldier has been arrested in connection with the 2019 killing of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham in Killeen, Texas, according to a news release from the Killeen Police Department.

Cory Grafton, an active-duty soldier assigned to the Texas base, was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with felony first-degree murder in connection with death of 32-year-old Chelsea Lynell Cheatham, according to a statement from the Killeen Police Department.

The 20-year-old was being held on $1 million bond and remained behind bars on Thursday, CNN reported.

Police were responding to a Days Inn motel in Killeen on June 3, 2019 when they found Cheatham unconscious and not breathing. Authorities attempted to revive her, but she was pronounced dead on the scene.

Initially, it was unclear whether Cheatham died of natural causes, but a recent autopsy labeled her death a homicide.

The case went unsolved for more than year until Texas Rangers — which recently received a grant for DNA testing — approached local authorities about analyzing genetic evidence from the crime scene.

DNA found on the victim was linked to Grafton and one of his co-workers told investigators he confessed to slaying.

Police said that a witness also was able to place Grafton at the hotel the night of the murder.

Authorities have not yet revealed a motive in the case and it’s unclear whether Grafton and Cheatham knew each other.

“We confirm that Spc. Corey L. Grafton is an active duty Soldier assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood,” Lt. Col. Chris Brautigam told CNN. He said military records listed Grafton’s first name as Corey, but police and jail records list it as Cory.

“The unit continues to cooperate with the Killeen Police Department and the Texas Rangers.”

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