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Body cam video: Avon hotel clerk tells police why she was thought Muslim man looked suspicious

Posted at 2:41 PM, Jul 04, 2016

In body camera video obtained from police by newsnet5.com, the Avon hotel clerk who had her family members call 911 on a patron who was dressed in traditional Muslim attire told police why she thought the man looked suspicious.

NOTE: newsnet5.com blurred the face of the hotel clerk in the video above because she has not yet been charged and her identity has not been released by police. The woman's sister's name has also been removed from the video above. 

Read a portion of the conversation below:

Clerk: "He wanted somewhere in Avon or Elyria. He wanted a month’s stay. He was leaving July 13 to the 14th around there and I tried to help him as much as possible. Everywhere said they were booked and they couldn’t help him, I told him. And then he wanted to sit in our lobby. He didn’t want to leave."

Officer: "So you said you guys were booked?"

Clerk: "I said we’re booked. Everywhere he called is booked too. It’s summer. People are traveling. He had two phones. He was searching the internet on one phone. Making calls on a disposable phone. That’s really all I know. It just freaks me out because of everything going on…"

Officer: "He didn’t say anything else?"

Clerk: "No it's just..."

Officer: "Because the call we got is that someone said he was pledging his allegiance to ISIS"

Clerk: "No, no, no, no he..."

Officer: "Who would have said that? Who made the call?"

Clerk: "I told my sister…it’s my sister…her name is…she called 'I said he’s dressed in a weird outfit, he has a disposable phone.' I said ‘I don’t know what to do because of everything going on…because of everything going on with ISIS' is what I said. I said 'call the police' because we couldn’t because he kept coming up here."

Officer into radio: "Stand down, stand down, stand down."

Clerk: "I’m so sorry it’s because he kept coming up here and asking questions and stuff like that and we couldn’t call."

Officer: "Well unfortunately the call that came to us was that he was screaming, pledging his allegiance to ISIS and waving his phones around. That’s a very big different picture than what happened."

"Someone dressed like that holding phones isn’t enough to call and say they’re pledging their allegiance to ISIS, that’s a totally different ballgame," the officer told the clerk and another hotel employee later in the video. 

After talking to the employees, the officer went back to speak to other responding officers. 

"Nobody ever said anything about ISIS," the officer said. "She was nervous because he looked like that and had two phones."

Avon Police said the clerk could face criminal charges related to the call. They plan to present evidence to the city's law director this week. 

5 On Your Side Investigator Sarah Buduson attempted to contact the clerk Monday, but no one answered the door at her home. 

The clerk's actions have also caused the international hotel chain she worked for to take action. 

In a statement,  Marriott said it will "be reviewing diversity and inclusion training programs." 

A supervisor refused to comment on whether the clerk will face any disciplinary action at the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Colorado Ave, which is where she worked and where the incident took place last Wednesday. 

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