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Couple Who Assaulted Black Connecticut Hotel Worker During Hot Water Dispute Arrested In New York

Stonington Police Department

The couple who physically and repeatedly assaulted Chrystal Caldwell at the Mystic Quality Inn in Stonington, Connecticut, was found in New York and arrested.

According to Caldwell, and security camera footage around the hotel, she was first approached by the couple over the lack of hot water in their hotel room. But when she offered to fix the situation, the couple instead threatened her, used racial slurs, and called her a monkey.

The couple repeatedly physically assaulted her. Caldwell sustained a severe concussion, among other injuries.

The night of the assault, the police were criticized for handling the situation poorly.  The couple were not arrested and were allowed to return to the hotel and go back to their home in New York, while Caldwell was receiving medical attention at the hospital.

Since the assault on Caldwell first received media attention, the public and Caldwell have demanded justice.

At the time, Captain Todd Olson of the Stonington Police Department argued that the allegations made against his department were unwarranted.

Olson stated: 

“These are significant accusations, and we are taking it very seriously. 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.”

In partnership with the State Attorney, the plan was to arrest the two people involved in the assault on second- and third-degree assault charges.

Though the couple did not provide police with a home  address, they were found back in New York in the area where they spend most of their time in Long Island.

The couple was identified as Philip Sarner and Emily Orbay. They were found in New York but transported back to Connecticut to be charged.

In security footage and Caldwell’s testimony, Orbay attacked her alone first. The couple then attacked Caldwell again, just minutes later, when she was getting ice from an ice machine for the injuries she had already sustained from Orbay’s solo attack.

As the story was updated on social media, many were relieved the couple would finally be charged for their repeated violent assaults on Caldwell.

Some argued if the couple had not been White, police would have handled the situation differently. 

Others suggested they should have been placed in jail the day of the assault considering there was ample security footage.

At this time, Sarner is being charged with second-degree and third-degree assault. Orbay is being charged with third-degree assault.

It is unclear if they will face additional charges. They are expected to appear in court on July 29.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit