Police responded to a call placed by the family of a hotel employee in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio who mistakenly believed a man seeking to stay in the hotel was a member of the Islamic State, Al Jazeera reported Sunday. Once authorities arrived on the scene and handcuffed the man, Ahmed al-Menhali, they discovered that there was no evidence that he was connected to the terrorist group.
Menhali, who is 41 and from the United Arab Emirates, was reportedly visiting Cleveland for medical help after suffering from a stroke. He was seeking a long-term stay in a hotel near Cleveland when he tried the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Avon, which ultimately was also booked due to the upcoming Republican National Convention.
The front desk clerk then reportedly claimed he was with the Islamic State.
“She went off and texted her sister and said I pledged my allegiance to ISIS,” Menhali recounted to Al Jazeera. He spoke through a friend because the stroke he had suffered had affected his speech.
The clerk’s sister and father then called 911 on Menhali, who was wearing a traditional white robe. Police handcuffed Menhali when they arrived. Video from police shows them asking Menhali for identification and about his mobile phones several times before he collapsed on the ground.
Menhali said he was consulting with lawyers.
Avon police said in a statement to the news organization that the incident was under review and that “contact was then made with the front desk clerk and it was learned that the male did not in fact make any statements related to ISIS”.