FBI agents in training mistakenly detained a Delta pilot in a Boston hotel as they entered the wrong room and mistook him for a role player in their exercise.
The hotel guest was handcuffed by agents who stormed his room, handcuffed him, threw him in the shower, and interrogated him for an hour. Agents finally realized they entered the wrong room and were holding a civilian against their will.
The embarrassing Tuesday incident was confirmed by the agency, Boston PD, and the Defense Department.
The agents hammered on the door of Room 1505 at the Revere Hotel where the pilot was sleeping at around 10 p.m. Tuesday night. After demanding to be let in, they pushed their way inside, handcuffed the confused pilot, and reportedly moved him into the shower.
There he was questioned as an unwilling participant in the training exercise gone awry. Local CBS affiliate WBZ described his interrogation as “intense.”
The FBI kidnapped and interrogated a @Delta airlines pilot in a Boston hotel
They entered the wrong room, where agents thought a role playing SOCOM @DeptofDefense servicemen was intended to be for a training exercise
The FBI is literally terrorizing 🇺🇸 citizens https://t.co/3McKve7lmg
— NOVA Campaigns (@NoVA_Campaigns) April 6, 2023
In a statement from the FBI, it was confirmed that agents from its Boston division conducted a joint training operation with the Department of Defense at the hotel. They were “to simulate a situation their personnel might encounter in a deployed environment.”
The release acknowledged that due to misleading information, they were sent to the wrong room and handcuffed a subject who was not the intended role player.
“Thankfully,” the statement concluded, “nobody was injured.” Hotel security and local police and EMS were called to the scene, but the police report said the pilot refused medical attention.
WBZ reported that agents apologized to the man.
Lt. Col. Mike Burns of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command offered “our deepest apologies” to the victim of mistaken identity. He explained that the exercise was meant to “enhance soldiers’ skills to operate in realistic and unfamiliar environments.”
When local media attempted to contact the victim, he said he needed to speak with his employer before giving a comment.
A spokesperson for Delta Airlines said the company is probing reports of an alleged incident possibly involving an employee. Meanwhile, the FBI’s Boston Division said it is reviewing the case — which could have ended much worse — “for further action as deemed appropriate.”