Only one person was arrested or detained on Feb. 10 at the hotel where Kareem Hunt pushed and kicked a college student, and that person was not even there when the now-infamous video footage was recorded.
“Outside The Lines” reported on Friday — a week after TMZ published a video that derailed Hunt’s career — that Derek Szeto, a businessman from Boston, was cited for disorderly conduct intoxication. He arrived back at The Metropolitan at The 9 in Cleveland around 3 a.m. and Abigail Ottinger, the Kent State student Hunt attacked, approached Szeto in tears.
Ottinger was in hysterics, not only due to the incident with the Kansas City Chiefs star running back, but because of alleged mistreatment by the hotel staff.
“The way that the hotel handled this, and the way that the police indulged them, is really distressing and frustrating,” Szeto told the ESPN news program. “I do feel the hotel specifically, and the police, should be called out for their actions.”
In the on-site police interviews that TMZ published last week, Ottinger is seen complaining to police about the hotel staff not letting her use the phone and placing the blame on her for the incident. Tyler Krajcik, the hotel’s loss prevention officer, seems to be the employee in the middle of the mess.
“That’s how I got involved, specifically because the hotel would not let her use the phone,” Szeto said. “I could see she had cuts on her. She told me the guy at the front desk told her, ‘That’s what you get for being a slut,’ which I just found outrageous.”
Szeto claims he began recording on his phone as concerns grew over the hotel’s handling of Ottinger and that Krajcik initially approved of it. But when police arrived, he demanded that Szeto stop recording. Police can be heard saying that Szeto was “illegally recording somebody” and “we don’t need a warrant, because you just committed a crime.”
Szeto was then placed in handcuffs and put in the back of a squad car. He says he was not intoxicated, as the citation claims, but opted against traveling back to Ohio to fight the fine.
Krajcik, who declined comment to ESPN, initially told police that they could not talk to Hunt without a warrant or approval from the hotel’s owner. The hotel in a statement denies that its staff mishandled Ottinger.
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“We condemn any violent or aggressive behavior and at all times act in support of our guests’ well-being,” the hotel management group said in a statement to OTL. “The actions of our team members throughout this and any evening emulate and exceed our standards of putting safety and security first.
“We refute any allegations suggesting otherwise and specifically deny the allegations that our property failed to provide appropriate aid or that our staff used vulgar language towards anyone involved. The use of foul or demeaning language is deplorable, and we have a zero-tolerance policy in place to eliminate all such behavior. Now and from the beginning of this incident, we continue to cooperate with local officials or any other legal investigative agencies.”
ESPN did speak to a member of Ottinger’s family outside her home, and was told “the whole incident has been very difficult for her and that all she wants now is her privacy.”
Hunt was let go by the Chiefs hours after the video was released and was not picked up on waivers. The NFL says their investigation into the incident is ongoing.