LONDON – An American tourist found himself trapped inside a bookstore in central London for two hours Thursday night after staff locked the doors without realizing he was inside. David Willis, from Dallas, Texas, alerted the Waterstones franchise that he was stranded in its Trafalgar Square branch by sending it a tweet asking "please let me out." Willis had stopped off at the store just before 9 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) to use the free Wi-fi on the second floor—but while he was there he did not realize staff had turned out the lights on the ground floor and closed up for the night.
"I’m very tired, I did not sleep very much last night but it feels good to be free," he told NBC News’ U.K. partner ITV News. When asked how staff failed to notice him, he said: "I don’t know, that’s a great question… I walked in right past employees." Despite triggering an alarm and calling the police, Willis said he was only rescued after Waterstones employees saw his tweets.