Couple Accused of Attack at Connecticut Hotel Arrested in NY: Officials

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
July 15, 2020Updated: July 16, 2020

A couple accused of assaulting a 59-year-old hotel worker in Mystic, Connecticut, while yelling slurs after complaining about a lack of hot water in their room, were arrested early Monday in Brooklyn, New York.

Philip Sarner and Emily Orbay, the couple, were extradited to Connecticut on Monday. They now face assault and other charges, Stonington police said in a statement, according to reports.

They are accused of beating a black hotel worker and using racial slurs, officials said. Sarner will face a second and third-degree assault charge, while Orbay will be charged with two counts of third-degree assault, reported the New York Post.

Crystal Caldwell, the worker, told The Day publication that the two were staying at the hotel in late June when a man called the front desk to complain that the hot water wasn’t working in their room.

M. John Strafaci, Caldwell’s attorney claimed to Newsday that Sarner and Orbay “were using racial slurs while they were beating her.”

Epoch Times Photo
Philip Sarner (C) and Emily Orbay (R) allegedly assaulting a 59-year-old hotel worker in Mystic, Conn., in a file photo. (Stonington Police Department)

“To just brutally assault a 59-year-old woman because of the color of her skin, people like that don’t belong in the civilized society … She has been having nightmares and flashbacks and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder,” he said.

Surveillance footage released by the hotel and obtained by police allegedly shows the two approach Caldwell while she is near an ice machine. The man then allegedly punches her, pushes her to the ground, and appears to kick her.

“I understand that it was a lot of work to track these people down in New York and get them,” said Strafaci, according to the Day. “That just underscores that when you have people from out of state who commit crimes in Connecticut, you can’t allow them to leave the state, because it becomes incredibly difficult to get them back to Connecticut.”

A Stonington Police spokesman told the New York Post that both Orbay and Sarner were “kind of transient people.” Other officials told Newsday last week that the two “do not have permanent addresses, but are known to be primarily in Nassau County, N.Y.”

“It feels great, I definitely want to see them fully prosecuted,” Caldwell told The Day. “I want to go to their arraignments and to look at them one more time—I think it will ease my mind once I actually see them handcuffed,” she said.