Florida bus driver's alleged pepper spray revenge plot causes hotel evacuation, arrest

Daniel Young was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. (Photo: Volusia County Branch Jail)

A Florida bus driver found himself behind bars after he allegedly sprayed pepper spray all over a hotel hallway in hopes of irritating the guest above him who he said was making too much noise. 

Daniel Young, 59, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and possession of a weapon (chemical) by a convicted felon after the incident that unfolded at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites on Fenway Drive on Friday night, according to the DeLand Police Department. 

The DeLand Fire Department and Volusia County Fire Rescue evacuated over 100 guests from the hotel Friday night due to complaints of an "acid or gas-like smell," according to an arrest affidavit obtained by FOX 35. Guests were experiencing coughing and difficulty breathing. 

One person was transported to a local hospital. Their current condition is unknown at this time. 

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The DeLand fire chief said his team didn't find a hazardous gas in the air, but instead found an orange chemical on the wall of the second floor, the affidavit said. That chemical looked consistent with what he believed to be pepper spray. It took officials two hours to evacuate and clear the air of the chemical particles before guests were allowed to return safely. 

A police officer met with maintenance staff and reviewed surveillance video from the hotel. Video showed a man wearing a black hat, black polo shirt – which was later discovered to have the logo of a tour bus company – and black pants entering the hallway. Then, the man, later identified as Young, allegedly walked to the area where the pepper spray was found with a black canister in his hand. 

The surveillance video then shows Young allegedly spraying an orange substance all over the hallway floor. 

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A chemical substance, what officials believe is pepper spray, was sprayed on the walls at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in DeLand. (Photo: DeLand Police Department)

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"That's the bus driver," the hotel clerk told the police officer while watching the surveillance video, adding that a baseball team was staying at the hotel with their bus driver. 

Police then went to the parking lot to locate Young, who was behind the wheel of a charter bus wearing the same clothing from the surveillance video. He was placed under arrest. 

Post-Miranda, Young told police that he had been staying at the hotel for about a month and had been having trouble sleeping because of the guest staying in the room above his, the affidavit said. He said he tried complaining to hotel staff, but the noise continued. 

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Young then told police he sprayed the pepper spray "hoping it would cause irration to the second-floor guest and stop the noise above his room," according to the affidavit. 

He said he threw the pepper spray canister out behind the hotel, which was later recovered by police. 

Young was taken into custody and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail. He was released on Saturday and is scheduled to appear in court on May 9.