Hotel Housekeeper Assault Highlights Need for Panic Button

September 11, 2019

The sexual assault of a housekeeper while she worked at a hotel in Oak Brook, Illinois, this week, is further proof of the necessity of a new state law. The legislation requires all hotel and casino employees who work in isolated spaces receive a panic button to use if they are assaulted or harassed.

The new law, which was signed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month, goes into effect July 1, 2020.

A 38-year-old man is in police custody for allegedly assaulting the 20-year-old housekeeper while she cleaned a guest room at the Hyatt House, ABC News reports. Seven different police agencies were involved in the apprehension of the suspect. Police went room-to-room searching for the armed man, believed to be a relative of a guest, in the suburban hotel. They eventually apprehended him after he fled to Chicago.

Hotel officials pledged support for the housekeeper and apologized to the guests for the inconvenience. "The safety and security of our guests and associates are top priorities at Hyatt House Chicago/Oak Brook,” said Nicole Patterson, the hotel’s general. “We are deeply concerned about the wellbeing and recovery of our colleague who was affected by this incident, and we are working to make sure appropriate attention and support is provided."

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