Nashville hotel employee in custody after sneaking into guest’s room, assaulting him, police say

The former employee was arrested in Wilson County, according to police.
A hotel guest claims they were sexually assaulted by an employee who snuck into their room while staying at a hotel in downtown Nashville. (Source: WSMV)
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 11:45 AM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2023 at 11:55 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A former downtown Nashville hotel employee accused of sneaking into a guest’s room and sexually assaulting him has been arrested in Wilson County, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

A warrant for the arrest of David Neal was issued after Peter Brennan claimed he was sleeping and awoke to Neal touching him inappropriately. Brennan’s lawyer said Neal used a “ghost keycard” to enter the room around 5 a.m., illegally.

The incident occurred at the Hilton Hotel on 14th Avenue South in downtown Nashville.

“I woke up at around 5 a.m. and I was being sexually assaulted by a man who had broken into my room,” Brennan said.

Metro Police said the man reported that Neal was sucking on his toes.

Attorney Michael Fisher, of the Rocky McElhaney Law firm, claims the employee was allowed access to hotel keys, despite his criminal past. According to court documents, Neal was indicted by the Wilson County Grand Jury for second-degree murder in connection to the death of his roommate, Wally F. Haynes, on Nov. 3, 1996.

On Nov. 12, 1997, a jury found Neal guilty of voluntary manslaughter, a felony but a lesser charge. Neal had claimed he killed Haynes in self-defense after a night out at a bar later turned into a physical fight inside a home. While appealing his prison sentence, Neal said he fired multiple shots at Haynes while he tried to get away.

Prosecutors said in a recorded statement given to police, Neal could be heard giggling. Records show he served more than five years in prison.

Brennan’s lawyers were told that the hotel employee was fired from the hotel because he refused to give a statement regarding the alleged assault. They are still waiting for surveillance footage to be released by the hotel.

Neal is charged with aggravated burglary and assault in connection to the hotel incident. Neal remains jailed on $27,000 bond.