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Couple at New York City hotel opened door expecting Uber Eats, instead found armed robber, says lawsuit alleging lax security

The gunpoint robbery occurred in a room at the Boro Hotel in Long Island City, Queens, on Jan. 2, 2021, according to the newly field suit.

A couple is suing the New York hotel they stayed at in 2021 for failing to provide adequate security, saying they were robbed at gunpoint after they opened their room door expecting Uber Eats.

The lawsuit, which was filed Friday in Kings County Supreme Court in Brooklyn, names as defendants the Boro Hotel in Long Island City, Queens, and the corporations that own and manage the hotel. The plaintiffs are identified only as John Doe and Jane Doe. Supreme Court is the name of New York state's highest trial court.

The violent robbery occurred after midnight on Jan. 2, 2021, according to the lawsuit. Jane Doe heard a knock at the door, and John Doe got up to answer it, believing it was an Uber Eats delivery worker.

The Boro Hotel in Long Island City.
The Boro Hotel in Long Island City.Google Maps

“At which point two (2) men (‘assailants’) pushed through the door. One (1) man pushed Plaintiff, JOHN DOE to the ground and put a gun to his head,” the suit says. “The other assailant pulled the covers off of Plaintiff, JANE DOE and tied her legs together with a sheet. The two (2) assailants took the Plaintiffs, JANE DOE and JOHN DOE’s wallets, jewelry, car keys, and sneakers and left the hotel room.”

The robbery caused the plaintiffs emotional trauma that includes flashbacks, nightmares and other physical manifestations of injuries, including heart-racing and sweating, according to the suit.

A Boro Hotel spokesperson said in a statement: “This claim is without merit. We fully cooperated with law enforcement in their 2021 investigation. The circumstances giving rise to the alleged robbery are highly suspicious. Safety is our absolute top priority, and this type of incident has not occurred in our seven years of operation. We look forward to having this frivolous suit dismissed.”

Attorney Mark Shirian, who is representing the couple, who are in their 20s, said in a statement Monday: “The victims entrusted their safety and well-being to Boro Hotel, expecting a secure and protected environment during their stay. Regrettably, the hotel failed to fulfill its duty of care and maintain adequate security measures to prevent criminal activities on its premises.”

The statement continued: “This failure directly resulted in our clients becoming targets of a heinous act, causing significant emotional distress, physical harm, and financial losses. We firmly believe that hotels have a paramount responsibility to ensure the safety of their guests. Negligent security, as alleged in this lawsuit, represents a breach of that duty.”

The suit alleges dangerous areas existed at the hotel because of poor lighting, secluded areas, poor security and no surveillance in or near the lobby.

After the robbery, the plaintiffs went to the lobby to report the crime and police were called, the lawsuit says. When the plaintiffs spoke to police, they were shown video of the suspects leaving the hotel but believed there was no video of the suspects entering it, the lawsuit says.

New York City police did not immediately comment Monday to update the case and their investigation.

The plaintiffs are asking for monetary damages for personal injuries, battery and assault, as well as negligence on behalf of the defendants, according to the lawsuit.