Big 2 was in Monahans today and spoke with a high-school classmate (who wishes to remain anonymous) of the front desk clerk, Holly Oyerbides, and she said that she is "not surprised" that Oyerbides answered Staff Sargeant Chad Staples' call in a rude manner. She says that in her experiences with Oyerbides, she was known to get into a lot of fights.
The high-school classmate also said that she does however, feel bad that Oyerbides lost her job because she has 2 small children at home.
Best Western issued the following statement a short time ago:
The Best Western Monahans Inn and Suites has concluded its review of the matter and the individual involved is no longer employed by the property.
As a dedicated member of the Monahans community, we remain committed to providing our guest with only the highest levels of customer service.
Big 2 has learned that the Best Western clerk who laughed at Sgt. Staples has been placed on administrative leave while all of the facts are gathered. At that time a final decision regarding her employment will be made.
We spoke with Marcus Gamo, a Best Western spokesperson, who is now at the Monahans hotel to assist with the company's inquiry into what happened. The owner of the hotel was on vacation when all of this happened earlier this week. We are told that owner is also heading back immediately to learn more about this situation.
Gamo has reiterated that this incident never should have happened, and that they are doing what they can to rectify it with Sgt. Staples.
There were no protestors in front of the Monahans Best Western on Friday afternoon.
UPDATE: Statement from Best Western regarding the incident:
"We received the information from Mr. Staples regarding his stay. We are truly sorry for the incident that took place during his stay. A power outage impacted the local area including the elevator at the property. We spoke directly to Mr. Staples and offered a full and sincere apology and reimbursed his expenses while at Best Western.
Best Western has been an industry leader in proactively communicating ADA requirements to its hotels and provides extensive training to address the needs of our disabled guests. We strive to ensure that all our guests are treated with dignity and respect. In continuing to extend training to our member hotels, we will look to do an even better job to ensure there are not future incidents similar to the one Mr. Staples experienced.
We respect Mr. Staples's status as a disabled veteran and the sacrifices he has made for our country. We can only hope that Mr. Staples will stay at a Best Western hotel in the future, as our guest, and afford us an opportunity to express our gratitude.
As a U.S.-headquartered company established more than 66 years ago, we have a deep appreciation for the history and tradition of the armed forces. Best Western has a history of supporting our troops and their families including currently as a major partner to Hotels for Heroes, which allows Best Western Rewards members to donate points to the brave men and women of our military." - Heather Briganti, Public Relations Manager for Best Western International
MONAHANS -- A Monahans hotel is under fire, after a paralyzed veteran was reportedly forced to crawl down the stairs at the facility.
A CNN iReport article says that retired Staff Sgt. Chad Staples stayed at the Best Western Plus Monahans Inn And Suites near Interstate 20 and TX 18 on August 7th.
Staples was paralyzed while fighting in Iraq, and he uses a wheelchair to get around.
However, a power outage disabled the Best Western's elevator on on August 7th -- and Staples called the front desk asking for help getting downstairs.
The Best Western front desk clerk on duty reportedly told Staples that he could use the stairs to get to the lobby.
When Staples explained to the clerk that he was paralyzed, she reportedly laughed at him.
Ultimately, the report shows that Staples had to throw his wheelchair and bags down the stairs and crawl after them.
On Thursday, protestors set up outside of the Best Western Plus Monahans Inn and Suites to voice their anger with the hotel chain.
Jonathan Valencia was just one of the protestors that came out. He's also a military veteran and he said, sometimes people overlook the dangers military members have to face.
"We were out on the mountains patrolling we were doing what we had to do," said Valencia. "But all of my friends weren't so lucky."
Best Western has issued a statement apologizing for the way Staples was treated.
The hotel also says they're working to rectify the situation to Staples' satisfaction.
But protestors like Valencia say the incident shouldn't have happened in the first place.
"If you see a vet just thank him, or anything," said Valencia. "Say something nice."