STONINGTON — Police said Tuesday that the Office of the New London State's Attorney will be filing for an extraditable warrant to bring back a New York man after he and his wife were accused of a racially-motivated attack against a Mystic hotel worker late last week.
Stonington Police Capt. Todd Olson said officers spoke with the victim, 59-year-old Chrystal Caldwell, on Tuesday morning and had been coordinating with the state's attorney office to make sure "the correct charges are filed for the situation."
"We are putting together a warrant, or warrants if the investigation shows that both were involved, and we will use an extradition process if necessary. The courts will make the appropriate determination on charges, which helps protect the integrity of the case," Olson said.
The names of the couple from New York, who were identified as husband and wife, have not been released.
Stonington police first began to investigate Friday after receiving reports of an assault that had occurred at the Quality Inn on Whitehall Ave. in Mystic. According to police reports, the initial call led to a request for ambulances to assist three victims with various medical issues resulting from a physical encounter involving a worker and two hotel guests.
The police said Caldwell was taken to the Pequot Health Center in Groton, while the couple was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London. All three involved were each treated and released later that same day, the police said.
In a video interview that was posted to YouTube and shared on social media Monday, Caldwell said she was working the front desk around 11 a.m. when the couple called to complain that there was no working hot water in the room. She said the man was yelling and swearing profusely during the call, which eventually led to her hanging up. The man told her over the phone that he would come down and "kick her ass."
Caldwell said she immediately called her general manager, and he was able to address the hot water issue. She said she expected the situation to calm, but instead the man showed up at the desk. The general manager tried to intercede, she said, but the man went around him and proceeded to attack her.
The two were separated, according to a police report, but the couple was involved in a second incident when Caldwell said the couple approached her as she was attempting to get ice for her injuries. That's when she said she was thrown against the wall and kicked in the back several times before the man allegedly attempted to "stomp on her face."
"I was so fearful in that moment," she said during the interview. "I was concerned about my life."
During the incidents and their aftermath, Caldwell — a Black woman who has been a longtime resident of the area — said the couple, described as white and being in their 20s or 30s, called her names including "an old monkey" and told her that her life didn't matter, and she should be shot.
Caldwell said no one, of any race, should have to go through what she experienced. She said that she firmly believes the attack was based on her race and has called for their immediate arrest.
"I am almost 60, so for them to want to physically fight me, that was hard for me," she said in an emotional statement. "This hurt me, this hurt my kids. I am an American citizen and I pay taxes, but they want to kill me for what? Because of the color of my skin?"
Police have not confirmed the details of Caldwell's story. Olson said the department would release further details once the investigation is complete.
Following the attacks, Olson said officers contacted L+M to try and meet with the New York couple, but were unable to do so because of concerns regarding COVID-19 exposure. The police said the couple was released and returned to their room quickly, then gathered their things and left before officers were able to make contact.
The agency also had not taken a formal statement from Caldwell, whom the police were unable to connect with over the weekend due to the need for several doctors visits, and that statement was taken Tuesday.
The police said they had also been in touch with the couple from New York on Monday and notified them of the investigation before taking their statement. The couple returned messages and talked with investigators over the phone.
The slower pace and lack of an immediate arrest led to some protesters standing outside the Stonington Police Department on Monday afternoon, but officials said they met with the protesters to hear their concerns and relay what they could about the investigation.
Olson said the department will continue to work diligently in an effort to assure there is no issue in the adjudication of the case.
"These are significant accusations, and we are taking it very seriously," Olson said. "We are doing the best we can to conduct this investigation in a manner that will hold the individual or individual(s) responsible for what they did."