One-man wrecking crew targets British hotel for allegedly not being paid
British police are questioning a man in connection to the demolition-derby attack on an under-construction hotel that was captured in viral video, authorities said Tuesday.
The man behind controls of an excavator was recorded ramming through the front doors of a future Travelodge hotel in Liverpool on Monday afternoon and tearing apart what would be its lobby.
Merseyside Police said they learned of the incident at 3 p.m. GMT (10 a.m. ET) on Monday, and the man at the controls ran away.
"A man has since been located and will be interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation," according to a police statement on Tuesday.
No one was seriously injured in the strange incident, but one "man experienced eye irritation due to exposure to diesel and was treated at the scene," according to police.
The one-man demolition lasted at least 20 minutes, witness and ceiling fixer Samuel White told Sky News.
"There were loads of workers outside all gobsmacked, jaws to the floor wondering what's going on," White said. "The site manager was running around like a headless chicken — he wasn't happy at all."
White said the excavator operator claimed that contractors owed him £600, or about $777.
A spokesman for the construction company could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday. A GoFundMe page, purportedly set up for the disgruntled worker, had topped £3,700, or nearly $4,800, in donations by early Tuesday night in the United Kingdom.
Travelodge UK has no connection to the hotel chain of the same name in the United States, officials with both companies said Tuesday. There are 574 hotels operating under the Travelodge name in the United Kingdom. its spokeswoman said.