Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) wasn’t the Robert Scott that Richmond, VA police were searching for Sunday morning.
But the Congressman did stay at a Holiday Inn Saturday night.
And apparently, that was just enough for Richmond Police to rap on the door of the Congressman’s hotel room and roust him from sleep Sunday morning.
Richmond police confirm that they visited Scott’s room Sunday while trying to serve a warrant on another Robert Scott.
Bobby Scott chairs the House Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Scott checked into a Richmond Holiday Inn late Saturday night about 80 miles from his home in Newport News, VA. Scott had delivered the keynote address at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Democratic fundraising Dinner in Lynchburg, VA. But on Sunday morning, two Richmond police officers knocked on Scott’s hotel room door to determine if he was the man they were looking for.
Richmond Police spokesman Gene Lepley says there’s a city ordinance that permits police to check hotels for potential guests who may have outstanding warrants.
“It was an area of the city that the precinct commander thought we should do a sweep in,” said Lepley. “It’s not done every day.”
Lepley says when the order goes out, officers can compare a list comprised of the names of those with outstanding warrants against the registries of hotel guests. A hit came up on a Robert Scott. So police walked to Congressman Scott’s second floor hotel room and knocked on the door.
“Our officers did our job in a courteous and professional manner,” Lepley said. “There was no hostility.”
But a source tells FOX that a Holiday Inn hotel clerk protested the police’s request to go to Scott’s room. The source says police threatened the clerk with arrest unless they were allowed to pay the Congressman a visit.
Scott says his room was on the second floor of the hotel and emptied into an internal hallway. He says a pass card was required to get from the lobby to that section of the hotel.
When police arrived at Scott’s room, they knocked on the door and asked for identification. Scott produced his House voting card, which lists the Congressman’s name, district. The card indicates that the holder is a Member of Congress and is emblazoned the seal of the House. A federal hologram is embedded in the ID. Police then asked Scott for his driver’s license. Lepley says that was done because the voting card was not sufficient for ID and they wanted to see Scott’s date of birth.
After a conversation and some questions the two officers determined that the Congressman wasn’t the Robert Scott they were looking for and left.
Lepley could not identify what the warrant was for or provide any identifying characteristics about the Robert Scott in question.
“What is the process for knocking on people’s doors? And what is the threshold of suspicion?” asked Scott. “What is the suspicion to interrogate someone?”
Scott also wants to know what Richmond Police know about Robert Scott.
“It’ll be interesting to know what description I was fitting,” said Scott. “Was it a 62-year-old black man who matches my height and weight?”
Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood has apologized to Scott.
“The last thing we want to do is hassle a Member of Congress,” said police spokesman Gene Lepley.
But Scott asks why police are able to identify who is staying at a hotel when the average person isn’t.
“There’s an expectation of privacy at a hotel,” Scott said. “If you call the hotel and ask for a guest, they’ll connect you to the room, but they won’t tell you the room number.”
The Robert Scott that Richmond Police are looking for remains on the lam.