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US executive's €16,000 hotel rampage after taking booze, medication


Disgusted: Albert Santiago. Picture: Daragh McSweeney/Cork Courts

Disgusted: Albert Santiago. Picture: Daragh McSweeney/Cork Courts

Disgusted: Albert Santiago. Picture: Daragh McSweeney/Cork Courts

A US executive went on a rampage in a Cork hotel after a combination of whiskey and prescription medications, causing over €16,000 in damage, assaulting two receptionists and throwing heavy fire extinguishers from the fifth floor down on to the ground floor lobby.

Albert Santiago (54), from Beach Park, Chicago, pleaded guilty to a total of 16 charges before Cork Circuit Criminal Court arising from incidents at the Clayton Hotel on Lapps Quay on August 12, 2018.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was told Santiago - a specialist engineering executive with a US pharmaceutical giant - has since lost his job.

Santiago pleaded guilty to two assault charges, one charge of reckless endangerment, one charge of engaging in threatening behaviour, one charge of being intoxicated and a danger to others and 11 charges of criminal damage.

A total of €16,000 in damage was caused at the hotel including to art work, a revolving door, a lift call station, a fire station, walls, glass panels, a fire extinguisher, chairs, a table, a hotel bedroom door and golden spheres.

The reckless endangerment charge arose from Santiago throwing a metal fire extinguisher and furniture from the fifth floor balcony down through the atrium and onto the ground floor reception area. No one was injured.

However, Santiago also admitted assaulting two hotel staff who were working in the reception area and attempted to calm him down, one being pushed in the face.

Santiago - a veteran specialist engineer - had just arrived in Cork after flying from Chicago via London.

He was due to visit his company's east Cork plant for a work assignment the following day.

However, he consumed a whiskey in the hotel and then went to a bar near the Clayton Hotel.

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He was also on prescription medication at the time.

There was absolutely no involvement of recreational drugs.

After leaving the pub, Santiago told gardaí he recalled being assaulted as he walked back to his hotel. He became very paranoid as a result.

Santiago became agitated and then lost control in the hotel - causing criminal damage and throwing heavy items from the fifth floor balcony down into the reception area while also shouting about the devil.

The defendant subsequently lost his job of 31 years.

He had been planning to retire within five years but now faces rebuilding his career.

Santiago was shocked when shown CCTV footage and said he was "disgusted".

He brought €11,000 to court in compensation for the hotel and a further €5,500 in a bail bond would also become available.

Sentencing was adjourned to November 1.

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