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Man Finds Hotel Quarters Tight, Is Booked Into Jail

October 01, 2003|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

Gregory Gallup went from one tight squeeze to another Tuesday.

First, it took firefighters 30 minutes to extricate the 6-footer from an air duct near the ornate ballroom of the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, at Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard.

Then Beverly Hills police slapped handcuffs on him and arrested him on suspicion of commercial burglary.

"He is being taken to a hospital," said Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mitch McCann. Gallup was being treated for dehydration. "It is unclear exactly how long he'd been there in the duct, but I'd say it was an extended period of time."

Hotel officials said they suspect that he may have been there as long as two days.

Shortly before noon, workers in the hotel's audiovisual office heard banging sounds from the walls and ceiling of the luxury hotel. When one went to investigate, he saw a foot sticking out of an air-conditioning shaft, officials said.

"I thought I'd seen and heard everything in 30 years in this business until today," said Peter O'Colmain, vice president and general manager of the hotel.

The hotel, which opened in 1928, is where Richard Gere romanced Julia Roberts in the movie "Pretty Woman" and actor Warren Beatty once held court.

After his rescue and capture, Gallup, 25, told investigators that he was taking medication for a mental health condition, O'Colmain said.

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