Iraqi Veteran Accusing Monahans Hotel of Mistreatment

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

MONAHANS - It's a story that has people in West Texas and all over the nation outraged and disgusted.

A wounded veteran says he was humiliated and laughed at while he was staying at a hotel in Monahans.

The story has spread quickly over social media and across the Internet.

Chad Staples is an Army veteran who served in Baghdad until a bullet pierced his spine.

On August seventh, all he wanted to do was make his way home to Maine from California.

But his pit stop in Monahans turned into a humiliation he won't soon forget.

Staples spoke with NewsWest 9 earlier and says as he was trying to leave the Best Western Inn he noticed the elevator wasn't working so he decided to call downstairs to see if he could get some help.

Here's what he says happened next.

"She said 'yea it's been down for two hours.'  I was like 'can you send someone up to help me with my bags and help me get down the stairs?' She said, "are you serious". I said 'yes, I'm in a wheelchair.' and she goes, 'what do you want me to do about it?'"

Staples says he then got angry and when the desk attendant laughed at him. He threw his luggage and wheelchair down three flights and crawled down the stairs.

He says once he made his way down he asked to talk to the manager who told him he didn't know what he expected him to do.

But his frustrations didn't end there.

When Staples talked to customer care, they informed him of their policy claiming that what he was asking could be a liability.

"It's not like I was asking to be carried down. AllI needed was someone to help navigate my wheelchair down so it wouldn't break. This shouldn't happen and it doesn't matter that I'm a vet. That's something that people get emotional about and I understand but any good person should not be treated like this," staples said.

Chad says he filed a report and when he was eventually contacted he was given a refund, which he didn't want and an apology

So what's his next step from here?

"No legal action. That's disgusting. I despise frivolous lawsuits. It's garbage and I'm not going to be a part of that. I don't think the money should be taken out of their pocket directly by me. They'll have it taken out by the public right now until they decide to fix what's going on," Staples said.

According to Staples, he wants to see the woman who mocked him fired and he wants to see the hotel policies changed to be more in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Best Western headquarters did release a statement on their Facebook page regarding the incident, quote, "Many of you have expressed concern regarding an incident that took place at a Best Western hotel this week. While we are still collecting details and an internal investigation of facts are still occurring, Best Western is understanding and appreciative that this is a very personal and sensitive issue for troops and veterans alike. We received the information from Mr. Staples regarding his stay. We are truly sorry for the incident that took place during his stay. A power outage impacted the local area including the elevator at the property. We spoke directly to Mr. Staples and offered a full and sincere apology and reimbursed his expenses while at Best Western. Best Western has been an industry leader in proactively communicating ADA requirements to its hotels and provides extensive training to address the needs of our disabled guests. We strive to ensure that all our guests are treated with dignity and respect. In continuing to extend training to our member hotels, we will look to do an even better job to ensure there are not future incidents similar to the one Mr. Staples experienced. We respect Mr. Staples's status as a disabled veteran and the sacrifices he has made for our country. We can only hope that Mr. Staples will stay at a Best Western hotel in the future, as our guest, and afford us an opportunity to express our gratitude."