Noisy hotel guests halt when woman finds cops

September 09, 1994|By MIKE ROYKO

Sure, we have the great restaurants, nightspots, museums, shopping and sports events. But here's another example of why Chicago can be so exciting a destination for conventions and business meetings.

Mary, an executive from Madison, Wis., recently came to town for a business conference and checked into a fine Chicago hotel.

But she soon found that the occupants of the next suite were uncommonly noisy. They talked so loud she could hear almost every word through the locked door that separated their suites.

Mary briefly thought about knocking on the door and asking the rude group to hush so she could get some sleep.

But after listening to their conversation awhile, she decided that would not be smart.

"They were talking about drugs," she says. "They were talking about making drugs, using drugs and selling drugs. They were saying they were going to New York, then Reno. One of them talked about how this deal better go down all right.

"And people were calling them all night. I could hear the phone ringing.

"This went on all the first evening. By about 2 o'clock in the morning, I called hotel security because I was scared and said, 'I think something illegal is going on next door.'

"But the hotel people seemed to want to discourage me from doing anything. They told me that if the police came, they'd question me, and I might have to testify and my name would

come out. And they said the police might think I was just overhearing the TV. The hotel people finally said they would go by the room and listen, but the talking and the phone calls went on, so it was obvious they did nothing."

After dawn, Mary went to breakfast and her business seminars.

"These people were still up, talking loud. It sounded like there were even more of them. I spent the day at meetings, and I figured that when I got back, they'd be gone and it would all be over.

"But when I got back at about 4:30 p.m., I heard lots of people in the room. There were at least four to six voices, male and female. By this point, I knew some of the characters pretty well. There was Bob and Pam and Danny. They were talking about getting fake passports in Florida. One guy talked about how much child support his wife was taking him for. Another guy was just out of a prison in Ohio. One guy talked about how he beat someone up who told people he was a narc, and how he beat up somebody else who he said was wired. He talked about how he'd like to blow the heads off cops.

"I listened to all this and thought that there are too many people who don't want to get involved and that I should do something."

So Mary went to the hotel lobby and got the number of the nearest police station, phoned and asked for the narcotics detectives.

"The woman who answered the phone said the detectives were all at the Air and Water Show, whatever that was. So I explained the situation and she told me to call 911."

Still nervous and fearful, Mary decided to walk down the street to a pay phone to make the call.

But because she wasn't sure what the address was where she phoned from, this only served to confuse the cop at 911.

"He kept yelling at me, 'Lady, what's the address?' I didn't know, so I gave him the number from across the street. He told me to stand on the curb and wait.

"I waited for almost an hour, but no one came. So I tried once more, but when nothing happened I said, 'Screw it,' and went back to the hotel to meet some people for dinner.

"Later that evening, though, I saw three policemen eating at this Chinese restaurant, and I decided that I'd try one more time. So I went to their table and told them the whole story. They said they needed to call a few guys from a tactical unit.

Zel,.5l "They called and two detectives showed up, and I told them the story. They came to my room and listened. The people next door were still talking away.

"They called more policemen who came, and they listened for about two hours. They brought in the hotel manager because they said they needed to work with the hotel people.

"Finally, they went next door and I could hear, 'Police, police! You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent . . .' "

The police say six people were arrested. They found a variety of white powder, brown powder, LSD and needles.

"Yes, it actually happened like the lady described it," a police spokesman says.

"It was all very exciting, and the policemen turned out to be very nice and professional," says Mary, who didn't want her name used, for obvious reasons.

"And it shows that it's important for people to get involved," she says.

Yes, assuming that they happen to bump into some cops eating in a Chinese restaurant.

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