BOSTON — Department of Defense agents mistakenly detained a Delta pilot during a training exercise mishap at a hotel in Boston on Tuesday night, authorities and sources said.
The DOD agents were conducting a role-playing operation with the assistance of the FBI Boston Division when they broke into the wrong room at the Revere Hotel on Stuart Street around 10 p.m., according to a Boston police report.
A Boston Police dispatcher made the call early Wednesday morning.
“Sir, bear with me on this one. Can you swing by the Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart Street? Security called in saying 45 minutes ago, two Delta pilots had people claiming to be FBI Agents barge into their room and handcuff them to the bathroom. And they’ve since left and want to file a report now.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for FBI Boston said, “Based on inaccurate information, they were mistakenly sent to the wrong room and detained an individual, not the intended role player.”
Boston officers were called to the scene to confirm that the incident was indeed a training exercise, FBI Boston noted.
There were no reported injuries during the mishap.
A Department of Defense official said the department apologizes to the person affected by the training exercise.
“The training was meant to enhance soldiers’ skills to operate in realistic and unfamiliar environments. The training team, unfortunately, entered the wrong room and detained an individual unaffiliated with the exercise,” Lt. Col. Mike Burns of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said in a statement.
Sources told 25 Investigates that the agents entered a room that two Delta pilots were staying in, and one pilot was handcuffed in the bathroom for about 45 minutes. After the incident, sources said the pilots went the hotel’s front desk and had workers called Boston police.
Boston 25 News obtained the dispatch call: “Sir bear with me on this one. Can you swing by the revere hotel, 200 Stuart Street? Security called in saying 45 minutes ago, two Delta pilots had people claiming to be FBI agents barge into their room and handcuff them to the bathroom. And they’ve since left and want to file a report now.”
A spokesman for Delta Air Lines said the airline was looking to see if anyone from the airline might have been mistakenly caught up in it.
“We are looking into reports of an alleged incident in Boston that may involve Delta people,” the spokesperson said in a written statement. “We have nothing further to share at this time other than to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our people.”
Boston Mayor Michele Wu expressed concern Thursday.
“It is just shocking and quite disturbing to learn that this had happened,” Mayor Wu said. “It’s surprising that a mistake was made that they went to the wrong room.”
Boston 25 News Security Analyst Dan Linskey explained there is a system in place to make sure errors like this don’t occur.
“Somewhere along the line there should have been a check and balance to make sure that this could not happen,” said Linskey. “You’ve got to have this scenario written, there’s got to be a safety officer that’s involved in these procedures and their job is to make sure these types of things don’t happen, and somebody definitely dropped the ball.”
The FBI also called safety a priority for the agency and its law enforcement partners.
“We take these incidents very seriously,” the FBI statement added. “The Boston Division is reviewing the incident with DOD for further action as deemed appropriate.”
FBI Boston is reviewing the incident with the Department of Defense.
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