NYPD launches investigation after suspicious substance found at hotel leaves employee sick

NYPD says the man wanted in connection with the unknown substance found at the Hyatt has 16 low-level prior arrests

A known trespasser was taken into custody by New York City police after a suspicious powder he allegedly left behind in a Hyatt hotel room caused a maid to become sick on Tuesday.

NYPD confirmed to Fox News Digital Wednesday morning a 55-year-old man was taken into custody. Charges against him are pending and have not been released.

During a Tuesday night news conference, NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy said the man was known to law enforcement. 

He reportedly has 16 low-level arrests and has trespassed at other hotels.

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The NYPD Bomb Squad arrives at the Hyatt hotel in Midtown to investigate a suspicious powder found in a hotel room.

The NYPD Bomb Squad arrives at the Hyatt hotel in Midtown to investigate a suspicious powder found in a hotel room. (Fox News)

McCarthy said officers responded to the Hyatt hotel at 58th Street and Seventh Avenue Tuesday evening to investigate a suspicious substance that caused a female employee to become sick. 

The woman was cleaning a room on the 11th floor around 1:20 p.m. when she reportedly came across a white, powdery substance in the bathroom near the sink. She cleaned the substance up, but later on became nauseous and dizzy, which sent her to the hospital and prompted the police investigation.

McCarthy said fire crews showed up at the scene and began swabbing the room. Initial tests for traces of explosive substances came back positive, but McCarthy said those were false positives.

The discovery of the potentially explosive substance led to the evacuation of the hotel's entire 11th floor. An "all clear" was given later after more tests by NYPD investigators came back negative for explosives.

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Police stand outside the New York City Hyatt hotel after a potentially explosive substance was found in a room.

Police stand outside the New York City Hyatt hotel after a potentially explosive substance was found in a room. (Fox News)

McCarthy said the room was previously occupied by a family of five, but they dropped a key card before checking out on Sunday, and it was picked up by the man in question. He reportedly took over the vacant room overnight.

Police were able to quickly identify him through video surveillance footage and told media outlets he is a person they are familiar with.

Prior to him being detained, the NYPD said he was not a threat to the city.

NYPD responded to the Hyatt hotel in Midtown to investigate the suspicious powder found in a bathroom by a maid who later became sick.

NYPD responded to the Hyatt hotel in Midtown to investigate the suspicious powder found in a bathroom by a maid who later became sick. (Fox News)

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It's not clear what the powdery substance was.

The hotel's operations returned to normal shortly after the scene was cleared.