A housekeeper who works at the Park Hyatt New York on West 57 Street was hospitalized after coming into contact with a powdery substance that was left in a guest room by a man who was trespassing on the property.
The trespasser, using a card key he had apparently found, unlocked a guest room on the 11th floor of the upscale hotel on Sunday at approximately 8:30 p.m. local time.
A family that had occupied the room had checked out several hours earlier and the room was vacant.
When the housekeeper entered the room to prepare it for the next guests, she encountered a powdery substance that immediately made her sick, the hotel said.
The hotel called 911 and the New York City Fire Department responded to the scene to investigate.
Although the housekeeper had apparently already vacuumed up the substance, tests of remaining residue resulted in a positive test for traces of an explosive substance, the New York Police Department said at a news conference held after the incident.
The housekeeper was taken to hospital and is expected to survive. Her name was not revealed.
A review of security footage allowed the NYPD to identify the suspect. He has 16 prior arrests for low level crimes and is believed to be homeless.
“All subsequent tests of the surfaces were met with negative results,” said Assistant Chief James McCarthy of the New York Police Department at the news conference. “There were no trace amounts of hazardous materials detected. At this time, we feel that the earlier test results were a false positive.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)