The owner of a hotel in Bushnell, Florida, is facing criminal charges after guests say he snuck into their room and crawled on the floor next to them while they were sleeping. WWAYTV 3 reports that on the morning of Thursday, October 12, occupants of a room at Bushnell Inn told officials that they had awakened to the sound of a strange noise.
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office says the guests saw 49-year-old Manishkumar B. Patel crawling on the floor next to one of the beds. When they questioned the hotel owner, he reportedly grabbed a sheet from the bed and covered his face before running out of the room.
It is unclear if the hotel owner said anything to the guests before he fled the scene.
Officers were called to the Bushnell Inn. Patel was asked to hand over the hotel’s surveillance footage, which captures him securing the premises before closing the hotel at 3 a.m. He is seen walking near the victim’s room, but police did not say what it was he was doing. There is no indication of what transpired after that as the footage ended following Patel’s entrance into his own hotel room.
It was reported that Patel may have turned the surveillance camera off and when Bushnell police arrived at the location, he turned it on.
When the guests identified Patel as the intruder, he was arrested and charged with burglary to an occupied structure and evidence tampering, according to ABC 11.
This is not the hotel owner’s first run-in with the law. Authorities say that Patel was out on bail after having been arrested in 2014 on a sexual battery charge. His trial is set to begin in November of this year for that case, police say.
Social media users were stunned after learning that the owner of the Bushnell Inn is being accused of sneaking into a room while guests were sleeping. Some say that it’s one of the reasons why they carry a firearm and place an object or an alarm in front of the door while staying at a hotel because they feel unsafe.
Patel was taken to the Sumter County Jail where he is being held without bond.
Bushnell authorities will be investigating the incident to uncover why the owner of the Bushnell Inn purportedly snuck into his guests’ room.
[Featured Image by Sumter County Sheriff’s Office]