Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Carmel on the Case: Bed Bugs
The state is taking action against a Pompano Beach motel for bed bug problems, and it's not the first time. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
WSVN -- How would you like to pull back the covers and find bugs in your hotel bed? Bed bugs, to be exact. These three friends provided the video they say was taken here, at America's Best Inn in Pompano Beach.
They rented room 229 to celebrate a birthday.
Nisa Grace: And I pulled out the sheet, and I held it like this so you can see it, and he got up real close with the camera. It was a bed bug, the biggest bed bug, like, it was huge."
All three say they were bitten by bugs, and when they complained, they say management refused a refund.
Nisa Grace: "I'm like, 'Look.' He's, like, looking on his computer. I'm like, 'Look at the video, sir, there is a bug, on the bed. Look!' He's like, 'There's nothing I can do, no refunds.' I was just mad. Like, you were so, 'Yes, everything is clean, everything is good, yes, yes, yes,' and you take our money and for a night of me getting eaten alive, basically."
Customers aren't the only ones reporting bed bugs here. For years now, inspections by the state of Florida have repeatedly revealed bed bugs at the inn. What inspectors with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation uncovered may make your skin crawl.
In 2009, an inspector's handwritten notes described "evidence of bed bugs' blood stains on mattresses." Two years later, one room turned up bed bugs again, "six dead, four live and several larva and droppings," while another room had "20 plus dead." As a result, the state ordered the inn not to rent 18 rooms.
And last April, in a letter to the state contained in an inspection report, a North Florida man complained, "This facility contained bedbugs which crawled out of my mouth at three o'clock in the morning and all over my wife, who woke up from these horrific conditions." The husband called the stay "the most dreadful night of our lives."
Greg Rice: "Here is a live bed bug. This one recently had a blood meal."
7News also found bed bugs at the inn when we rented a room there for a report on the expanding bed bug epidemic back in 2010. And last September the inn was named in an administrative complaint after a state inspector reported finding one bed bug on a sheet, four on one headboard, six on another headboard, and one on the baseboard, all alive, all in the same room.
No one from America's Best Inn responded to our repeated requests for comment. The state, which has fined the hotel thousands of dollars in the past, turned down our request for an interview citing the pending legal action. Meanwhile, this group of friends is thankful they checked out early.
Nisa Grace: "It's disgusting."
Brittany Wiacek: "I think they should be shut down, and never be reopened."
Vladimir Sufra: "To this day, I feel like they're still on me."
Carmel Cafiero, 7News.
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