In mid-November, David Criswell had an AirBNB guest stay that didn’t go well. In fact, before it was all said and done, he entered the currently rented unit with a gun drawn, and removed the AirBNB guest – after someone told him there was “shadiness” going on at the AirBNB. According to the AirBNB guest, the host “awoke him at gunpoint”.
According to Criswell, it all start with a reservation from a lady ‘Dee’ – who would turn out to be renting the AirBNB for her son, Solomon, thought it wasn’t clear at the time that she wouldn’t be present at the rental.
Criswell posted on social media: “Reservation was booked by guest’s mother. Dee Tolbert. I think Airbnb will block her, but, DO NOT accept a reservation from her. Son’s name was Solomon. I think. In the end, a claim was filed with AirBNB for the damage, but here’s what happened.”
According to Criswell, “The guy next door told me that he was smelling smoke through the walls. So, I went there to investigate, and that’s what I found. Only one person was there at the time.”. Criswell accuses the guest of “smoking crack” inside his AirBNB house, ruining all the sheets and towels, and paint inside the unit.
Here’s David Criswell’s own account of the incident, which he posted on social media:
“The guy next door, an employee of mine, and my cleaner all told me about some shadiness going on at the place. Frankly, I had HUGE red flags before he even checked in, based in his speech/demeanor/etc, however, I chalked it up to him being a minority. Frankly, if he’d have been white, I’d have NEVER let him in. But, I didn’t want to appear racist, so, I convinced myself that “that’s just how (people of that ethnicity) speak/act/etc.” And let them in.”
“I do longer stays (typically 30 day minimums), and this guy had been here 9 days. Well, day 9, the guy next door told me that they were smoking inside (he could smell it through the walls), and so that was the breaking point. I decided that I needed to make them leave. I” just spent $10k+ getting this place cleaned up and setup for Airbnb, and this guy was MY FIRST AIRBNB GUEST at this unit.”
“Anyways, I go over there, and knock on the door. Loudly. For a long time. No answer. So, I open the door and go in. I stood there and yelled “Hello, Landlord” at least 10 times before I went any further. I also videotaped the entire thing for liability.”
“Well, I’m looking around, and the place is TRASHED (as you can see). Trash everywhere. The entire place had to be repainted because of hand prints all over all the walls. There had obviously been multiple parties at the place. There was evidence of crack use (I didn’t know how to identify it – my painters who were with me told me what it was). So, upon seeing this, I took my gun out of my pocket to walk through the rest of the unit. I didn’t know if I’d find a crack head in the basement or what. Now, keep in mind I have a TN HCP, training, etc. I’m not just some idiot who goes around looking for a reason to use his gun. In the 9 years I’ve had it, this is the first time I’ve ever preemptively removed it from my pocket.”
“Anyways, we are walking around the unit, and we go upstairs (more trash – surprise), and one of the crackhead pieces of shit who trashed my place was there. I said “I have been yelling Hello. Why didn’t you respond?” Also, it’s like 3pm. He said he was sleeping. Whatever.”
“Anyways, I proceeded to tell him that he was a disgusting piece of shit, that his trip was over, and that he needed to go outside while we put all his stuff on the porch. He put up a small amount of resistance, and I said “OK Mike (guy who was with me), call the police.” He then said he would leave. He went and stood outside, and while my employees put all his crap on the porch.”
“Anyways, the guest left. I called the police (to file a report). I showed the video to the officer. And we cleaned the place up over the next few days. I NEVER ONCE threatened to use the gun. I never pointed it at him. At one point, he saw it and asked about it, and I immediately put it away. I discussed this with the officer, and since it was my property and I believed it to be abandoned, he didn’t think I’d broken any laws or done anything wrong. I also called Airbnb, and told them that they needed to go ahead and hit this woman’s (the one who booked it for her crackhead son) credit card for at least $1,500 before she cancels it. And I told them exactly what had happened, including the fact that I had a gun on me during the altercation.”
“Well, fast forward to the next day, and his mom says (through the Airbnb message system) that I “awoke him at gunpoint”. “
“Further, had I actually known someone was in the unit, I’d have just called the police. But, I really thought it was empty. I mean, the place is only 2 bedrooms. How the hell can someone sleep through me yelling like 20 feet from their head? Anyways, the moral here is that you should probably not do what I did. If I could do it all over again, I’d have called the police as soon as I opened the door.”
“Now, the sticky issue is that the person who booked the unit technically had a right to be there. And this crackhead was her guest. And even though he broke all the Airbnb “rules”, rules aren’t laws. Rules are civil.”
“If I would have asked Crackhead to leave, and he said “no”, there is nothing I could have done. If I’d have called the cops, they’d have told me to evict him. So, unfortunately, landlords kinda get hosed in situations like these. Another factor might have been the email I sent (through Airbnb) to crackheads mom (the one who actually booked the place – who I thought was going to be there, but, was actually in CA), where I expressed my disgust.”
“Her son was fresh out of jail on a domestic abuse charge. He obviously has a history of drug/alcohol/violence. And she just puts him up in a really nice Airbnb. She had to have known he was/is a piece of shit, and would have zero regard for the rules. And she just said “I’m just trying to help my son get back on his feet.””
The AirBNB guest had, in fact, recently had several charges, including parole violations in Texas for Robbery, Robbery charges in Florida, and in Tennessee, a multitude of charges – yet he was allowed to stay in the AirBNB via a loophole: