Hostage situation at Vegas hotel
Las Vegas police say a man has taken a woman hostage inside the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino. A chair and other items were thrown out a broken hotel room window and landed in the pool area below. (July 11)
A man was arrested and a woman described as his hostage was released Tuesday following an hourslong standoff in a room at the Caesars Palace resort in Las Vegas, authorities said.
No injuries were reported and the woman was unharmed, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Video footage posted on social media showed furniture, cushions, and other objects fall from the high-rise tower and startling guests in a swimming pool area below.
“SWAT made entry into the hotel room and has taken the subject into custody. The female who was also in the room is safe and with officers,” police updated on Twitter at 2:46 p.m.
Police said the standoff began around 9:15 a.m. with a report from hotel security of a domestic disturbance. Las Vegas police Capt. Stephen Connell said a man and woman were arguing and that the man pulled the woman into a room “by force.”
Officers attempted to contact the individuals in the room but the man refused to open the door and told officers he was armed, prompting a SWAT team and crisis negotiators to respond to the scene.
It was not immediately clear if the man was actually armed and if the two individuals were in a relationship, according to Connell. Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Resort guests frightened by incident
Outside, resort guests were alarmed by several loud bangs and falling glass from a room about two-thirds up the 29-story Palace Tower, one of six towers at Caesars Palace. Some guests thought there might have been a shooter or attack.
Beverly Blackwell, 56, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was with her husband by a pool when they heard glass break and saw curtains blowing from a broken window.
“When we saw the window shatter it was kind of a surreal feeling, it got pretty scary,” Blackwell told The Associated Press. “We were told to gather our stuff and rush out the back.”
Guests in the pool area were evacuated by staff members and police. Another guest, Emma Snyder, 24, said some people hid by a staircase while several objects flew out the window: a coffee maker, a hair dryer, and a desk bureau.
John Marshall, an Associated Press writer who was on vacation with his family at the Palace Tower, said broken glass and furniture fell intermittently for about an hour.
While police and resort security officers were seen in parts of the resort, employees told Marshall and his family that guests on other floors were not evacuated or restricted from movement.
“In the casino, it’s business as usual,” Marshall said.
Caesars Palace said in a statement that it was aware of the security incident and its team was cooperating with law enforcement.
As one of Las Vegas’ largest and most iconic landmarks, the resort is a popular destination spot for Las Vegas tourists. The hotel has nearly 4,000 rooms.
Contributing: Associated Press