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Couple Accused Of Attacking Connecticut Hotel Clerk In Racially Charged Incident Apprehended

A screenshot of Philip Sarner and Emily Orbay assaulting a woman in a Connecticut hotel in video released by their victim's lawyer. Photo Credit: The Law Office of John Strafaci
Mystic Quality Inn Photo Credit: Mystic Quality Inn

The Long Island couple who were on the run after an alleged racially-charged assault at a Connecticut hotel last night have been located by law enforcement in Brooklyn.

Philip Sarner and Emily Orbay, who do not have primary addresses but are known to reside primarily in Nassau County, were taken into custody by U.S. marshals following the incident on Friday, June 26.

It is alleged that Sarner and Orbay attacked an African American employee at the Quality Inn in Mystic, Connecticut, prompting a brief manhunt that ended with their arrests on Monday, July 13.

It is alleged that after complaining of not having hot water in their room, the couple’s victim, 59-year-old Chrystal Caldwell, who was working at the hotel, offered to have the problem fixed or to switch their room.

Instead, police said that Sarner got angry and called her offensive names, before the altercation became physical.

Caldwell reportedly suffered a concussion, and injuries to her eye, face, back, and ribs.

All three were transported to an area hospital for treatment after complaining of injuries. Due to COVID-19 policies, the officers were unable to remain by Orbay and Sarner, who police said were able to slip away before taking a Lyft ride back to their hotel and fleeing in their car before police were able to speak with them.

Sarner was charged with second-degree assault, third-degree assault, and intimidation based on bigotry and bias.

Orbay was charged with two counts of third-degree assault and intimidation based on bigotry and bias.

In response to the incident, Stonington Police Chief Darren Stewart and the Police Commission ordered an external review of the investigation, the results of which will be made public.

“I have since retained through the law director’s office an independent firm to conduct an external review specifically about this event and the Stonington Police Department policies and procedures,” he said. This investigator will soon be providing a confidential dedicated email address seeking input from the public.

“The decision to conduct an external review was made in partnership in order to ensure that our community retains the confidence in our officers that they need to carry out the important work they do every day.”

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