I’ll try to be brief.
I work a part time job as a night desk clerk at a local hotel. Last weekend, the local police came in asking whether we had a specific person registered as a guest. We found that indeed, she was registered. It seems she had trashed (in some fairly bizzarre ways) a room in a neighboring hotel two nights running, and after being locked out of that establishment had not resurfaced to collect her things and pay for the damage.
The police had me take them to her room, where they knocked loudly and shouted for her to open the door. No response. One officer told me that the staff at the other hotel thought this woman was unstable and might be suicidal. The asked me to call the room from the house phone. No response.
Then the police asked me to open the door with the passkey under the assumption that she was indeed in trouble and unable to respond. I did so only to find that the woman had chained the door on the inside.
Presented with this obstacle, I assumed that the next step would be to cut the chain and enter the room…probable cause and all that. Surprisingly, one officer called the States Attorney, and asked if they should enter the room. The SA says. “No, she has rights.” The police shrug, and prepare to leave. On the way out, one says, “You better warn housekeeping. They’re likely to find a stiff in the morning.”
I am dumbfounded. Based on the assertion that this is a potentially unstable person who may do harm to self or others isn’t entering the room to ascertain her condition a no-brainer? I am assuming that the SA is covering his ass…but from what?
Can someone with legal or law enforcement experience enlighten me?
PS. Turns out she was physically ok…just afraid of something/someone and she has since disappeared…