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Defense Department detains guest in hotel training mix-up

A seal reading
A seal reading “Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation” is displayed on the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building in Washington, DC, August 9, 2022. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

BOSTON — Participants in a Department of Defense training exercise at a Boston hotel entered the wrong room Tuesday and mistakenly detained a guest instead of the person assigned the role of the person to be detained, according to the FBI.

The mistake happened about 10 p.m. with the Boston Division of the FBI helping the U.S. Department of Defense in conducting the Defense Department exercise.

The exercise was meant to simulate a situation that personnel might encounter during an actual incident.

“Based on inaccurate information, they were mistakenly sent to the wrong room and detained an individual, not the intended role player,” an FBI said in a written statement. “Thankfully nobody was injured.”

A Department of Defense official said the department apologies to the person affected by the training exercise.

“The training was meant to enhance soldiers’ skills to operate in realistic and unfamiliar environments. The training team, unfortunately, entered the wrong room and detained an individual unaffiliated with the exercise,” Lt. Col. Mike Burns of the Army Special Operations Command said in a statement.

“The Boston Police Department responded to the scene and confirmed that this was indeed a training exercise. The safety of civilians in vicinity of our training is always our number one concern. We are reviewing this serious incident with our partners and no further details will be released at this time,” the statement added.

Burns declined to identify the person wrongly detained.

The FBI also called safety a priority for the agency and its law enforcement partners.

“We take these incidents very seriously,” the FBI statement added. “The Boston Division is reviewing the incident with DOD for further action as deemed appropriate.”

A spokesman for Delta Air Lines said the airline was looking to see if anyone from the airline might have been mistakenly caught up in it.

“We are looking into reports of an alleged incident in Boston that may involve Delta people,” the spokesperson said in a written statement. “We have nothing further to share at this time other than to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our people.”

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