A guest staying at a Country Inn & Suites in Newport News, Virginia said he was called a racial slur by the hotel clerk after asking for a refund because of his mother-in-law’s smokey hotel room.
Irby Fogleman said he explained to the Country Inn & Suites employee that his family member’s room smelled like cigarettes and wanted to know if the clerk would refund their money back, but the exchange took a turn for the worst. Fogleman’s wife Kelsey Cunningham recorded the incident on video and posted it on the 13News Now Facebook page.
“She [mother-in-law] went and picked her own hotel, which I kind of regret now,” said Fogleman. “We get into the room, and smell smoke, and that was kind of alarming because she doesn’t smoke.” He explained that his mother-in-law asked for a non-smoking room and that’s when the family went downstairs to talk to the employee.
The camera footage showed Fogleman and the hotel clerk going back-in-forth as the employee yells for the interracial couple to leave the property. Right before the hotel clerk who Fogleman refers to as “Dwayne” walks back into the office, he calls the customer a “fucking monkey.”
Cunningham said she was shocked by the clerk’s behavior after watching the video.
“I’ve seen it on Facebook. I’ve seen it on the news. I’ve seen it in other places. I think I was a little naive to think that it wouldn’t happen to us, and here we are now, so that’s why we reached out to you guys,” Cunningham said.
Ben Gardeen, Vice President for Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Americas released a statement to 13News Now, after the news outlet reached out to Radisson Hotel Group, the parent company.
“Thank you for bringing this video to our attention. We are immediately conducting an investigation into this incident at our Country Inn & Suites by Radisson in Newport News, Virginia, an independently owned and operated property. The behavior and comments by this particular employee at this hotel are unacceptable and do not reflect our service expectations for the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson brand. We apologize and again will be immediately conducting an investigation into this incident,” the company stated.