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One Calif. delegate hospitalized, another threatened with arrest

September 02, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • Police officers provide security in the lobby of the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center two days before the opening of the Democratic National Convention.
Police officers provide security in the lobby of the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention… (Mladen Antonov / AFP / Getty…)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A California Democratic Party official was hospitalized early Sunday morning, and another who allegedly falsely claimed to be a member of Congress was threatened with arrest in connection with a disturbance in the lobby of the delegation’s hotel.

The man who was hospitalized was seen being carried from a taxi into the Blake Hotel shortly before 2 a.m., when he either fell or was dropped in the lobby, leading hotel staff to grow concerned about a head injury. As he lay unconscious on the floor, hotel employees called 911, checked vital signs and stabilized his body until paramedics arrived, strapped him to a board and took him to a hospital by ambulance.

“Often times at conventions, people who have not seen each other for a long time gather and sometimes people have too much to drink,” said party spokesman Tenoch Flores. “That appears to have been the case here and we’re gathering more information.”

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Information about the man’s condition was unavailable Sunday afternoon.

The other party official, also a delegate, tried to intervene when hotel staff called the paramedics, arguing that the unconscious man had merely had too much to drink and ought to be put to bed. When he tried to physically move the man’s body, hotel staff called the police.

When officers arrived, the man allegedly claimed to be a member of Congress at least twice, before stating repeatedly that he was a state party official. Police threatened to arrest him when he refused to provide identification, and hotel staff threatened to kick him off the property. He later apologized and was allowed to remain for the remainder of the night, with staff planning to contact state party officials Sunday to discuss whether he would be allowed to complete the remainder of his stay.

Officers responding to the incident declined to comment. Flores said the party is investigating the man’s behavior.

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seema.mehta@latimes.com

Twitter: @latseema

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