Flight Attendant Raped in Hotel Room — and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
A flight attendant — who is 18 years of age and was not publicly identified — was reportedly raped in her hotel room at the Days Inn Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus sometime between 4:00 and 6:00 in the morning on Monday, June 20, 2016 after she arrived at the hotel property with co-workers.
Flight Attendant Raped in Hotel Room
According to this article by Daniel Bethencourt of the Detroit Free Press, the “assailant arrived at around the same time as the victim. He drove a separate vehicle, loitered both inside and around the hotel — and at some point Monday morning, the assailant was able to get into the victim’s hotel room, commit rape and leave a short time later. No weapons were seen.”
The flight attendant is employed by Air Georgian, which is based in Mississauga, Ontario and is one of the family of small airlines which operates as Air Canada Express.
Julie Mailhot — who is the chief operating officer for Air Georgian — issued the following official statement to the media pertaining to the incident:
Air Georgian is aware of the incident involving one of our employees which occurred during a layover in Romulus, Michigan on Monday, June 20th. We have reached out to the employee to offer our support, and are cooperating fully with the investigating authorities. As this is an active police matter, and to protect the privacy of our employee, we will be making no further statements.
How the suspect was able to gain entry into the hotel room of the flight attendant is currently unknown at this time; and the police department of Romulus — which is a city located near Detroit Metropolitan Airport — is seeking assistance from the public for any details about the alleged perpetrator in addition to what is shown in the surveillance photograph at the top of this article.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
While not completely foolproof, the 12 essential hotel room safety tips from this article can help reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a crime — as well as how to protect yourself from theft. The following list is a summary from both of those articles, which contain more detailed information than what is listed below.
- Always be as alert and as aware of your surroundings as possible at all times, as this is the single most effective way of preventing yourself from becoming the target of a criminal or thief — and if you see anything or anyone that is suspicious, report it to staff; management; law enforcement personnel; or other appropriate authorities.
- Check out the surrounding area of the hotel property before booking your room to see whether or not it is considered safe.
- Ensure that the front desk is staffed 24 hours a day; and that access to guest floors is restricted by key card or some other means.
- Avoid a room located on the ground floor room if it is at all possible; and instead opt for a room as low as the third floor and as high as the sixth, making break-ins unlikely but your floor will be low enough so that fire department ladders can reach you should an emergency arise.
- Once in your room, keep the door locked at all times — including using additional locks such as deadbolts, security chains, and swinging metal security bars — and never leave your door propped open for even a split second.
- If someone knocks on the door of your room claiming to be a member of the hotel staff and you have not requested the service, call the front desk before opening the door to verify that it is in fact a hotel employee — and use the peep hole of the door of your room to help verify that there is indeed an employee of the hotel property at the door of your room.
- To protect your valuables — including important papers and passports — leave them in the hotel safe at the front desk and do not leave them in the safe located in your hotel room; and please read this article as well as this article to find out why; as well as watch the video accompanying this article.
- If you invite someone back to your room whom you do not know well or at all, ensure that your clothing and personal items are put away in unlikely spots in the room which are difficult to reach— or perhaps try to avoid bringing back people to your hotel room altogether unless you trust them or have no reason to be concerned about them.
- Leave a note with your destination and the time you are leaving with a colleague if you are a member of a flight crew who is traveling alone and leaving a hotel room on a layover.
- Always leave the television or radio on and put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door in order for the room to appear occupied — and in the rare event that you actually have a room which still has a Please Make Up Room Now sign, do not use it because that announces to the world that your room is not occupied.
- If you lose your room key, have the hotel disable the first one when making a replacement; or — better yet — do not lose your room key in the first place.
- Ensure that any sliding glass doors and windows are locked and fully secured — whether or not you are occupying your hotel room; and even if your room is located on a higher floor.
- Always locate the nearest emergency exit and staircase upon arrival at a hotel so that you immediately know where to exit in case of an emergency.
By following the advice outlined in the above list, you can lower your chances of being the target of an assailant or thief when you arrive at — and check into — the hotel at which you are staying as a guest.
Source: Romulus Police Department.