ALVA, Okla. — Most hotel guests who are displeased with their hotel experience might complain to the manager or tweet out a complaint.
One guest preferred to drive his truck through the lobby of an Alva, Oklahoma, hotel last week, authorities say, narrowly missing two employees at the front desk.
Surveillance cameras captured two workers barely escaped injury as part of the front desk was destroyed.
John Edward Parsley, 62, was angry over a billing dispute when he drove his truck through the hotel lobby, according to an Alva Police Department incident report. He was arrested and charged with assault and malicious injury to property, and he remains in jail.
"The guest had tried to pay with a debit card the first night he checked in, and it was declined," hotel co-owner Rupal Kingson Christian said. She owns the hotel with her husband, and she was one of the people behind the front desk when the truck came crashing through.
"He asked us to run it again because he said there was plenty of money in the account," she said. "When it was declined a second time, he went to get cash and paid for his room that way.
"The next day, he decided to stay a second night, and again his debit card was declined, and he had to pay with cash. Later he got an email from his bank saying there was an authorization for $264 on his debit card," Christian said. "I explained to him that this was just a pre-authorization and not a charge, but he would not listen. He asked that we void the authorization, which we did.
"He was still upset and called police while he was threatening to drive his truck through the lobby," she said. "Dispatch told him to step outside, and then he positioned his truck facing the lobby, and I called police back telling them this."
An Alva Police Department officer responded to the calls.
The incident report says Parsley drove into the hotel lobby despite the officer twice saying he would go talk to the hotel staff about the dispute. Parsley claimed he didn't hear the officer make those comments.
Asked after his arrest why he thought driving into the hotel was a good idea, Parsley told police that "they thought he was bluffing, and he proved he wasn't," according to the report.
Parsley remains in jail with no bail. The police department says he does not yet have an attorney. Another bail hearing is set for Wednesday, Woods County Undersheriff Keith Dale said.
"I'm so thankful that God's hand protected me," Christian said. "My shoes were buried under the rubble, but I was unharmed for the most part, just a few bruises."