Prankster strikes: Man trashes hotel room

By | July 9, 2009 Kantorski took the call from the person who claimed to be a front-desk clerk about a gas leak in their hotel room near Orlando International Airport.

She frantically relayed the information to her husband, Mark, an Indian River County deputy. He followed the caller’s instructions … and smashed the window of his room with a toilet tank.

“When I broke the window, I got suspicious,” Mark said. “It didn’t seem right, but she [Lisa] was panicking, so I continued.”

Just before 7 a.m. Monday, the Kantorskis had no idea they were the latest victims of a prankster — or pranksters — whose tricks are sweeping the nation. The unknown protagonists dupe otherwise rational people into doing outrageous things, including driving trucks through storefronts and breaking hotel windows to test fire alarms.

With Lisa clutching their three kids, Mark listened to the caller as he barked out more instructions:

Break the mirror on the wall. Check.

Use the lamp to bash in the wall to get to the trapped man on the other side. OK.

Throw the mattress out the window and jump for safety. Out the mattress went.

Room 204 of the Hilton Garden Inn on South Semoran Boulevard was a shambles.

“I’m not one to argue much with her,” Mark said. “When you slow down everything, the situation was kind of odd.”

The Kantorskis never got the chance to jump. Hilton Garden Inn manager Samir Patel appeared at the door to address a noise complaint, an Orlando police report states.

Patel broke the news to the Kantorskis: There was no gas leak.

When police officers arrived, Patel said he recently received a memo from his corporate office warning about “dangerous pranks” pulled at hotels in other states. Patel did not return calls Wednesday.

Police don’t know who called the Kantorskis, who were not arrested “because he was responding to what he believed to be an emergency,” said Sgt. Barbara Jones, a police spokeswoman.

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