DALLAS (CN) - After front desk staff at a La Quinta Inn told police a "perpetrator" was in the room of an innocent family, an officer pointed a gun at the father's head in an "outrageous assault" and false arrest, the man claims in court.
Walter Harrison, sued the Irving-based hotel chain in Dallas County Court on Aug. 27.
Harrison, of St. Louis, says he was in Dallas for a Baptist convention with his wife, daughter and sister-in-law and stayed in Room 201 at the LBJ La Quinta in north Dallas.
He says the front desk woke him with a telephone call at 6:30 a.m. on June 17 and said there was a problem with his credit card. As he opened the door to his room, Harrison says, he was confronted by three police officers and three U.S. Marshals.
"One of the officers at the door began to shout at plaintiff and placed his firearm to plaintiff's head," the complaint states. "The other officers had their firearms aimed, as if ready to fire at him. Of course, the melee awakened plaintiff's family who came to the door and witnessed the outrageous assault of plaintiff. The officer holding the firearm shouted for plaintiff to tell him where another individual was and plaintiff indicated that he had no idea what the officer was talking about and that they had arrested the wrong man. He showed the officers his driver's license and they eventually left. However, the incident greatly traumatized plaintiff and his family, ruining their trip."
Harrison claims that the undefined "perpetrator" had been put in Room 201, but was moved to a room on the third floor before Harrison and his family checked in. Harrison says that when his family checked in the desk staff made a copy of his driver's license.
"Consequently, the desk staff should have known that plaintiff now occupied the room and the identification of Room 201 as the perpetrator's room was grossly negligent," the complaint states. "Further, defendant's desk staff's participat(ed) in the ordeal, by calling plaintiff and falsely stating that there was a problem with his credit card, which further evidenced an egregious and ill-advised direct participation in this outrageous incident."
La Quinta did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening.
Harrison seeks punitive damages for negligence and invasion of privacy.
He is represented by Mark Frels in Dallas.