NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Guests at the five-star Gramercy Park Hotel were greeted by storms of police Tuesday evening, after a guest’s Facebook Live video sparked terror concerns.
Four people were taken into custody in connection with the incident.
“I’m scared, of course I’m scared,” one woman said.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, frightened and confused guests were greeted by a massive police presence as they arrived at the swanky hotel, at 2 Lexington Ave. at East 22nd Street. Two blocks were closed off as officers swarmed the building.
“Quite shocked,” said hotel guest Alicia Camart. “We saw a lot of activities; cops around. As soon as we wanted to get into the hotel, I heard something about a gun.”
Police were called around 4:15 p.m. for a report of a threat, the NYPD said.
Security responded to the room in question – Room 1112, sources said. The security officers found the room to be occupied and heard voices inside say, “Be careful, you don’t want to get shot,” sources said.
Security called the NYPD 13th Precinct. The Emergency Services Unit and an anti-terrorism unit responded, forced open the door, and took the four people in the room into custody without incident, sources said.
A man was seen in handcuffs outside the hotel, and a woman was seen in the back of a squad car.
Police said the firearms were actually BB guns. It is not illegal to have a BB gun, but it is illegal to commit a crime with one or use it a threatening manner, sources noted.
The heavy response to the scene was a precaution, sources said. Drug paraphernalia was also found in the room, sources said.
Brian Newman, whose band plays at the hotel bar every week, saw the commotion.
“I came around 6 o’clock and I heard somebody say, ‘Don’t go near there,’” Newman said, “then I made a call down here and they said everything was fine. It was just a misunderstanding and you know, some kids fooling around.”
But police were not taking anything lightly. Guests said their response was justified.
“We live in New York,” Newman said. “I mean, you see that kind of stuff all the time, you know what I mean? But it’s good to see that kind of reaction and that kind of quickness from the Police Department.”
The people who were apprehended were being questioned late Tuesday. No charges had been filed, police said.