Valdosta Daily Times

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November 7, 2013

Homeless man found in Pa. hotel presidential suite

PITTSBURGH — A homeless man has gone from the proverbial penthouse to the big house after he was found sleeping in the presidential suite at one of Pittsburgh’s swankiest hotels.

Jeffrey Lennon Watson, 48, told police he was from Los Angeles and was passing through the city to return to California when he was nabbed by security at the Omni William Penn Hotel on Tuesday night, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said Wednesday.

Hotel guests were checking into the suite about 7:30 p.m. when they saw Watson sleeping on a couch and notified hotel staff, police said. Hotel security officers woke him up, took him to their office and called police, Richard said.

Hotel general manager Eric DeStefano issued a short statement explaining what occurred.

The parlor area of the Presidential suite is “a general-use area for receptions and small events. The door had been programmed to remain unlocked for an event earlier that day. As soon as the occupant was discovered, he was escorted off the property,” DeStefano said.

Watson told police “he has been in Pittsburgh for over a month and sleeps wherever he can locate somewhere comfortable to rest his head,” Richard said.

There aren’t too many places more comfortable than Watson’s chosen location. The 16th-floor suite features a 1,300-square-foot parlor plus three bedrooms, and includes crystal chandeliers, a dining room, grand piano, a full kitchenette, wet bar and sitting room, according to the hotel’s website. The site doesn’t make clear how much the room costs.

Police took Watson to the Allegheny County Jail, where he remained Wednesday unable to post $15,000 bond. He faces a preliminary hearing Nov. 19 on charges of criminal trespass and theft of services, according to online court records, which didn’t list an attorney for him.

Richard said police don’t know how long Watson had been in the suite or how he got in.

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