- A white couple have been arrested in connection to the beating of a Black hotel worker in Connecticut on June 26.
- Philip Sarner, 39, and Emily Orbay, 28, were taken into custody in Brooklyn, New York, on Monday. They will be extradited to Connecticut.
- Authorities say the couple were caught on surveillance camera attacking Crystal Caldwell, a front-desk worker at the Quality Inn in the town of Mystic.
- Caldwell says the couple attacked her after they got into an argument with her over a lack of hot water in their room.
- She says they also called her a "monkey" and told her: "You don't belong here."
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A white couple have been arrested and charged with assault over the filmed beating of a Black hotel worker, who also said the pair called her a "monkey" during the June 26 attack.
The police in Stonington, Connecticut, released a statement Monday saying US Marshals and the New York City Police Department had taken Philip Sarner, 39, and Emily Orbay, 28, into custody.
The couple have been accused of beating up Crystal Caldwell, a front-desk employee at the Quality Inn in Mystic, Connecticut.
Caldwell's lawyer told WJAR that Sarner and Orbay were staying at the hotel on June 26 when Sarner called the front desk to complain about a lack of hot water in their room.
He proceeded to get into an argument with Caldwell, and the couple went down to the lobby to confront the worker.
Caldwell says the couple attacked her twice. The second attack was caught on a surveillance camera, with footage showing a man and a woman cornering her near an ice machine where she said she was trying to get ice to treat her injuries.
Footage showed the man, identified as Sarner, throwing Caldwell to the ground and kicking her. The woman, identified as Orbay, was seen hitting and pushing Caldwell as well.
Caldwell told CBS New York that the couple also called her a "monkey" and said: "You don't belong here."
Sarner has been charged with second-degree assault, third-degree assault, and intimidation based on bigotry and bias. Orbay faces two counts of third-degree assault and intimidation based on bigotry and bias.
According to the Hartford Courant, the second-degree assault and intimidation charges are each punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
The Stonington Police Department faced public outcry when Sarner and Orbay were not immediately arrested.
Capt. Todd Olson told the Courant that this was because the couple were taken to the hospital after the attack, and the police were not allowed in to arrest them because of coronavirus restrictions.
They planned to arrest the two when they came back to the hotel to collect their belongings but later learned that the couple booked a ride on a car-sharing app that took them straight to their car in the hotel parking lot, so they immediately left from there.
Caldwell's attorney, M. John Strafaci, criticized the lapse in an interview with Fox 61.
"If Crystal had been a 59-year-old white lady from Mystic, Connecticut, and it was two Black individuals that brutally assaulted her, the two Black individuals would've been arrested on the spot and incarcerated," Strafaci said.
Caldwell — who suffered a concussion and multiple physical injuries — said she was glad to hear of the couple's arrest.
"I am rejoicing and I'm praising the Lord right now," Caldwell told the Courant. "I'm praising the Lord. Overwhelmed."
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