ATLANTA — A bellhop armed with a loaded .38-caliber pistol menaced Stopol Inc.'s chief executive officer and the firm's injection molding sales manager around 1:30 a.m. Sept. 15 at the Marriott Atlanta Airport Hotel in the Atlanta suburb of College Park.
Lention Whitlock, 29, allegedly pulled a gun on Stopol CEO Neil Kruschke Jr. and sales manager Dave Hausmann during a dispute over the distribution of literature at the hotel, according to police Lt. Richard Chromi of the College Park Police Department.
The incident occurred during the Society of Plastics Engineers' Thermoforming Division conference, held Sept. 13-16 in Atlanta. Solon, Ohio-based Stopol was a sponsor of, and an exhibitor at, the SPE event. The firm resells plastics processing equipment; its Stopol Business Services unit specializes in mergers and acquisitions; and in June it formed Stopol Tool Works Inc. after acquiring a ceramic-mold-making firm in Clare, Mich.
Kruschke, CEO of all three units, said he could not comment on the incident.
But a Stopol spokesman said the company had hired two college students to distribute plastic bags containing Stopol advertisements, Thermoforming Division literature and complimentary trade publications to conference attendees at four hotels, including the Marriott. The students reported having difficulty in their dealings with the Marriott bellhop to Kruschke and Hausmann, who arrived to help resolve the problem with hotel management, the spokesman said.
Said Chromi: ``It escalated into some kind of altercation ... a bellman they were dealing with pulled out a gun and pointed it at [Hausmann].''
Chromi confirmed that the gun was loaded. The Stopol spokesman said the weapon also was cocked. College Park police officers responding to the hotel's call reportedly arrested Whitlock, Chromi said. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, Chromi said.
The Stopol source said Kruschke suffered a 3-inch cut to the head during a scuffle with the bellhop, who then dropped the gun. Whitlock was treated at a local hospital for a possible dislocated finger, according to the police report.