INQUIRER: A 20-year-old Philadelphia man was attacked and forced to put on handcuffs in a room at the upscale Chestnut Hill Hotel, then got free and fought with his assailant down an elevator and into the lobby of the historic inn last night, police said. Akiva Israel, 24, of Middletown, N.J., was arrested after the bizarre incident and is expected to be charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and related offenses, police said this morning. The two men have known each other for several months, police said, and met at or went together to the hotel, which is popular with celebrity guests.
In a fourth-floor room at the hotel at 8229 Germantown Ave., the alleged assailant made the younger man put on a pair of handcuffs, police and a witness said. He also attempted to place shackles on the younger man’s legs, police said. Why the two men went to the room was not explained in a preliminary police report.
The victim said he had met the man to see or receive important information, according to hotel guest Kristian Sedano, 22, who is from Miami. In the room, the victim allegedly told Sedano that the older man threatened him with a knife and ordered him to put on handcuffs and meditate.
“Somehow, the victim was able to free himself and fought off his attacker,” said Officer Christine O’Brien. Sedano said the victim told him that he struck his attacker twice in the head with a baseball bat and yelled for help. “I don’t know why there were bats in the room,” Sedano said.
The two men [NOT pictured] fought in an elevator and into the lobby of the hotel, which boasts numerous past celebrity guests including Cuba Gooding Jr., Kate Hudson and Billie Jean King. Sedano was in the lobby and saw the two men struggling on the floor. He said he saw a knife and bat nearby and moved the weapons away from the men. He said he then helped hold down the older man until police arrived.
“Look at the notes! Look at the notes!” the alleged attacker said, Sedano recalled.
“Is it the cure for cancer?” the victim replied, with a pair of handcuffs dangling from one wrist, Sedano recalled.
Sedano said the victim told him he was able to escape because he faked locking the handcuffs to both wrists. Both men were covered in blood. MORE