MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Two people have been charged in connection with an assault at a Mystic hotel last month, and bias charges have been added by the State’s Attorney.
On July 1, Stonington police secured arrest warrants for the New York couple accused of attacking a Quality Inn hotel clerk and yelling racial slurs at her.
Police requested charges relating to assault and bigotry and bias. After review of the facts of the case, the State’s Attorney’s office signed warrants for third-degree assault for the unidentified female suspect – later identified as Emily Orbay – and second-degree assault for the unidentified male suspect – later identified as Philip Sarner.
On July 10, the State’s Attorney was able to issue new warrants with additional charges after police located past incident information.
For Orbay, she is now wanted for two counts of assault in the third-degree, and intimidation based on bigotry and bias. Sarner is now wanted on second-degree assault, third-degree assault and intimidation based on bigotry and bias charges.
Police say the two do not have permanent addresses but are known to be primarily in Nassau County, NY. Police are still searching for the suspects at this time.
On June 26, around 11:30 a.m., two 911 calls came in about a physical disturbance at the Quality Inn.
The victim, 59-year-old Chrystal Caldwell, told officers the couple was looking for her after a prior altercation at the front desk. The man first called to say his hot water wasn’t working.
When Caldwell offered to have someone come and fix it or switch their room, she said he got angry and started calling her names, including “monkey” among other things. She said things then turned physical, adding that her attacker came over the desk. However, police said neither of the two altercations occurred over, behind, or in front of any desk.
All three were taken to the hospital. After speaking with Caldwell, police spoke with two employees, who were also witnesses. They said they were having difficulty getting access to video footage, and officers could only view portions of the initial altercation. However, based on witness accounts, officers said they had probable cause to charge both guests in the incident.
One employee asked the police what to do with the guests’ belongings in the room. The staff was advised by police to restrict the keycard access to the room, and call them should the two guests arrive back from the hospital.
Police attempted to make contact with the male suspect in the hopes of making an arrest. They called and told him that he needed to contact police to be escorted back to the hotel to retrieve his belongings because they were not welcome back at the hotel that day.
Later that afternoon, police went back to the Quality Inn to find the suspect’s vehicle was gone. Surveillance video showed the pair being dropped off that the hotel by a Lyft just before 2:30 p.m. They left in their own car within a minute of being dropped off, according to the police report.
The attorney for Caldwell told News 8 that the couple sought out his client on social media, and during their ride back to the hotel sent her a threatening, racist message. Part of the message allegedly sent by the couple to Caldwell included the following: “We are still speaking to the cops. Their coming to make a report about u monkeys again. Don’t get shot. Enjoy your ghetto news.”
Claims by the male suspect state he was being “threatened and harassed by the victim’s family via Facebook.”
Surveillance also revealed that during the time in between the second assault and the police encountering the suspects, they walked to their vehicle, and the female put a large bag in the trunk.
In a release, police said this information was not known to officers at the scene, and officers still believed that the suspects would need the police to access their belongings in the room.
During a follow-up interview with witnesses on June 30, police learned that the suspects had not left anything in the room as initially thought.
Police are working with partners in New York and the FBI’s Civil Rights Division, in the continuance of this investigation, including the apprehension of the suspects.
Caldwell claims the couple made racial slurs and said, “Black lives matter, your life doesn’t. You don’t deserve to live on this Earth.” Police said they have not been able to confirm that or find anyone to corroborate that claim.