Police Raid YouTube Prankster’s Room at Waldorf=Astoria Boca Raton

A YouTube prankster was on vacation at the Waldorf=Astoria Boca Raton Resort and Club and three hours before New Years’ the property kicked him out — apparently because they were afraid he might perform a prank there though he didn’t bring his camera crew.

He says he refused a conversation with the manager because he was napping when they came to the room, and that the manager and police entered the room — his girlfriend was naked, and they wouldn’t let her get dressed in private.

Purely from the video it appears that this man and his girlfriend are behaving civilly and calmly in the face of a stressful situation, though it does contain language that’s definitely ‘not safe for work’.

A manager tells him, “Given the nature of your posting, we reserve the right as a private company to have you removed from property and not do business with you.”

Credit: Boca Raton Resort and Club, a Waldorf=Astoria Resort

It seems to me that a hotel:

  • should be allowed to ban guests before they check in
  • should be allowed to kick guests out once they violate a property’s rules
  • but once they accept a guest they shouldn’t kick the person out if they’re behaving appropriately.

What’s your take?

(HT: miloworld)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The hotel is in the right. That fact that a potentially dangerous/destructive guest already checked in to the hotel in no way prevents the hotel from ejected the guest at any time.

  2. Hmm, so my take is that when your career choice is to be a ‘YouTube prankster’, you’re kinda asking for these type of interruptions to pop up in your life. Occupational hazard.

  3. I’m with the hotel on this one. Perhaps they could’ve been softer about asking them to leave but when you know there’s someone on property who can cause damage you need to nip it on the bud. He got a popular video out of this, I call it an all-around win.

  4. My take: good on the hotel.

    Bad on Gary. Why are we giving this YouTube A**hat more publicity. There’s certainly more to the story than he’s telling us.

  5. I’m with Gary on this, they had a chance to refuse his reservation at check in yet they chose to honor it.

    Assuming that nothing changed in that hour (i.e. no pranks or suggestions of pranks), there shouldn’t be a reason for the hotel to ask Vitaly to leave that didn’t exist at the time of check in.

  6. I’m with Gary not the hotel. If they want to refuse a guest, that is their right. But stop them at reservation or even check in (by walking them). You can’t wait until later when they are already settled and not doing anything wrong to call the cops and remove them. Hope Hilton does something for the guy.

    I was just at the resort 2 weeks ago, it was great!

  7. Well the guy can pull a prank but hotel can’t?

    They let his girl friend get naked and kicked them out.

    This par for the course. Assholes tend to become whiny little bitches when the tables are turned.

    We see that in the white house too.


  8. I’m with the hotel. Better safe than sorry. Somebody well known for playing pranks shouldn’t be surprised when this happens to him.

  9. Gotta go with the hotel. Actions have consequences. They realized who he is after the fact yes but they acted on the info. Oh and did he call after his nap to find out what was going on?

  10. If a propensity for destructive behavior is sufficient cause to deny service, how do rock bands ever get a room or college kids on spring break?

    Maybe the management at this hotel has access to precogs like in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report and knew the idiot in the video was about to do something bad. If there is knowledge of a specific intent to violate hotel rules or if the “prankster” always damages hotel property, then kicking him out (better yet not allowing check in) is fine. I have never seen or heard of this guy’s act, but if the hotel knows he is a “prankster” it would be hard to prank the hotel.

  11. The cops are like the gestapo with bald heads and attitude.
    They act so innocent but they are waiting for any reason to put the cuffs on and arrest him.
    Luckily he has dealt with police and knows how to handle the situation.

    The cops say “it’s not up to us”.
    So why are they there ?
    I live right around the corner from the hotel.
    Boca Cops = Skinhead White Boy Tattoo Club

  12. Also with the hotel here. Seems likely there is more to the story and the hotel is being decent and protecting other guests. Further, these sort of social parasites have exempted themselves from sympathy and fair dealing since they refuse the same to others.

  13. his reputation conflicted with the hotels. if it were my motel/hotel , i would certainly choose to be proactive rather than reactive. The dude chose his path and now it’s too late to piss&moan about it.
    A fractured reputation is VERY hard to repair and comes with a cost which i now believe he is learning the hard way. And don’t forget, I’m sure he wasn’t the only guest that had to be considered

  14. I didn’t know we were voting on the 4th Amendment now.
    A hotel guest is entitled to the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The hotel clerk had no authority to permit the room search, and the police had no basis to believe that petitioner had authorized the clerk to permit the search….”

    Stoner v. State of Cal. (1964) 376 U.S. 483, 484

  15. I obviously have more important things in my life or live under a rock. who or what is a YouTube prankster? Not that I really want to know.

  16. Not only was the hotel totally rude and obnoxious for kicking him out, but on top of it they wasted my taxes by calling the police. There is REAL crime in Boca Raton that needs police attention, not some fancy hotel with no sense of humor. AND, what about freedom of speech? Does this mean if I blog from a hotel I risk being kicked out? This is just another case of a member of the “hospitality” industry forgetting what line of work their in.

  17. I’m sure the hotel would take Donald trump as guest, this prankster can’t be any more of a scumbag.

  18. Also with the hotel. Yes, they could have vetted him before accepting the reservation, but I’m not spending an extra $20/stay so they can vet every guest lest they lose the right to evict someone preemptively later. And I say that as someone who has had friends evicted in the middle of the night from hotels when the attached casino figured out they were a card counter.

  19. Regardless of who is in the right, the influence of social media “stars” is no joke I guess. The Boca Raton Resort Yelp rating is down to 1.5 stars now from all the 1 star reviews that fans posted after watching the YouTube post. Times have changed, I guess. I’d think those reviews should get pulled from Yelp though since most of the reviewers likely didn’t stay there or base the rating on their direct experience.

  20. What happens if the Hotel realizes the Guest is undesirable after he/she/it checks in?
    Oh no, Trump derangement syndrome! Everything that is wrong in the world is due to Trump, and Trump is an example of everything that is wrong… Seriously? Do you realize those assertions come across as irrational and batsh*t crazy?

  21. What’s up with all of the foul language in public spaces? Apparently, he has an audience including kids, and the foul language on the video, in the lobby, in front of the officers, could have done him in very quickly. That alone gave the hotel permission to throw him out.
    But the hotel manager couldn’t anticipate that he was going to get played?
    For future evictions: Refund the guests, bring an associate with a luggage cart, don’t call the police until you are the victim, rely on hotel security cameras to present your side of the story, and make sure your side of the story is rock solid.
    The invasion of privacy problem is a real loser, and should have clued in even a clueless manager that he was overreacting.

  22. @loungeabuser Certainly not to find it, but I’ve stayed there a few times and I’ve always consulted recent Trip Advisor reviews before booking a visit to a place. That’s why I’ve generally opted for Boca Beach Club rather than Boca Raton Resort when looking at the overall property complex.

  23. Is that “vetting” or “extreme vetting?” I’m not waiting 18 months at the check-in desk.

    BTW, how does the President end up in every thread unrelated to him?

    (Note: Don’t leave your TV tuned to MSNBC or “BREAKING NEWS” will be burned into the screen
    image. I’ve made that mistake. It was a nice plasma TV)

    This is fun…..I can watch OU v Georgia and make Gary money on clicks by adding comments.

    Gary, you’re welcome.

  24. The hotel may have thought this was a good choice but it seriously effected their online ratings and could potentially loose 100,000’s of dollars over this. The manager most definitely will be fired for his poor choice.

  25. The hotel is right. It is a private business , not a public place and they do not want to take the risk of him posting damaging stuff about their hotel. And perhaps annoying guests .

  26. The hotel management AND the police all need to be arrested and charged. That was unacceptable and egregious! I certainly hope both victims sue the Hell out of everyone involved!!

  27. So Gary you suggest a person with a confirmed reservation that met the requirements for the reservation should be able to be booted? This is ridiculous.

  28. I don’t see why this is any different than an airline calling the cops to kick someone off the plane. I think there is a world of difference between deciding you aren’t going to honor the reservation of someone you don’t like and kicking them out after you’ve already given them the room. There is an expectation that once you are in a hotel room, you will be given quiet enjoyment. I know a hotel room isn’t the same as a property lease, but I think most people would expect that you wouldn’t be kicked out unless actually violating a hotel’s rules. Here’s a good test: substitute jewish/ gay/ black/ woman for “youtube prankster” and see if you still think it was ok for the hotel to kick out someone who wasn’t doing anything wrong.

  29. Crazy! It was wrong in the hotels part for assuming something that wasn’t even happening. And on top of that call the cops on him?? Not cool

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