Avon apologizes after miscommunication leads to Muslim man arrested

AVON - The City of Avon and the Avon Police Department issued a statement of apology to a hotel patron the Avon Police Department arrested last week after a miscommunication over ties to ISIS.

In the statement released July 3, Avon City Mayor Bryan Jensen calls what happened "a regrettable incident that took place last week in our community."

On Wednesday, June 29, the Avon Police Department received a 911 call from the sister of a woman who was working as a desk clerk at the Fairfield Inn and Suites on Colorado Avenue.

The caller reported her sister told her there was a male in the lobby "in full head dress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance to ISIS."

Avon Police then received a second 911 call from the desk clerk's father who also requested assistance on behalf of his daughter.

When officers arrived at the scene shortly before 6 p.m., they encountered an Arabic speaking man standing outside the hotel dressed in a robe with a cell phone in his hand.

Officers, with guns drawn, ordered the man to drop his phone and get on the ground. After the man didn't initially respond to the commands of the officers, police continued to give commands until the man complied and laid down.

Officers arrested the man, conducted a search, and did not find any weapons.

Contact was then made with the front desk clerk and responding officers found the man never made any statements related to ISIS, and there had been a miscommunication about the situation between the desk clerk and her relatives.

The officers immediately removed handcuffs from the man and attempted to explain the situation.

While the officers were speaking with the man, he collapsed to the ground for unknown reasons and the Avon Fire Department then transported him to St. John Medical Hospital as a precaution.

The apology states that based on the information the officers had from the 911 call, they followed the department's standard police protocol.

The statement also welcomed visitors from the United Arab Emirates as well as other countries to Avon, and said the "very unfortunate incident does not reflect our community."

Avon plans to review the circumstances of the incident and review response procedures of police officers to further determine if 911 protocol changes should be made. 


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