The city of Avon, Ohio, has apologized to an Emirati man who was falsely accused by a hotel employee of pledging allegiance to ISIS.
On Wednesday, June 29, the Avon Police Department received a 911 call from the sister of Alexis Silva, who was working as a desk clerk at the Fairfield Inn and Suites. In an audio recording of the 911 call, which was posted by ABC affiliate WEWS-TV in Cleveland, the clerk's sister can be heard saying that a man was "pledging his allegiance or something to ISIS."
Police then received a second call from the father of the clerk, who asked for help with the matter on behalf of his daughter.
According to The Associated Press, Ahmad al-Menhali, 41, was detained at gunpoint on Wednesday while wearing a traditional white kandura, or ankle-length robe, and headscarf after the female clerk raised suspicions that he could be linked to the terror group. Police camera footage showed officers detaining and searching al-Menhali before determining he was not a threat. He collapsed moments after he was released and was briefly hospitalized, the AP reported.
Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen told ABC News that al-Menhali was "never arrested" as a result of the accusation, but that he was handcuffed and "briefly held" in a local police department.
"When you hear someone say he pledged allegiance to ISIS, that changes it. Then you find out that statement was never made and it just kind of angers us," he said.
Yesterday, the city and and the city's police department issued a statement of apology to al-Menhali for the incident.
Charges, Jensen said, would likely be issued tomorrow in response to the false accusation against al-Menhali, and that the incident was being investigated.