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'It’s very traumatizing': Hotel manager accused of breaking into guest's room and sexually assaulting him

Downtown Nashville Hilton
Posted at 5:31 PM, May 04, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — When you return to your hotel room for the night, you expect some level of privacy. But a Texas man visiting Nashville on a business trip says his sense of security was completely violated after an incident two months ago.

Peter Brennan was fast asleep — inside his room at the Hilton Downtown Nashville Hotel — when he awoke to a nightmare.

"I was in Nashville for a work conference," said Brennan. "I awoke to a gentleman, an employee of the Hilton, assaulting me."

Brennan claims he saw a hotel employee performing sexual acts on his feet.

"Instantly jumped up and was screaming. Went into sort of fact-finding mode. Who are you? Why are you in my room? What are you doing here?" explained Brennan. "I could see he was wearing a uniform, he had his name tag on. He was talking to me but not giving me any substantive answers."

So how did the man get inside the room? Brennan thinks the hotel employee may have cloned his key card and let himself into the room. When the hotel security guard was unhelpful, Brennan says he called Metro Police and they launched an investigation.

Brennan later discovered the employee was actually the night manager of the Hilton. Metro police have identified him as David Neal. There is now a warrant out for his arrest. It turns out, this isn't Neal's only run-in with the law.

Metro Police reported on Friday that Neal was located in Wilson County and taken into custody on an aggravated burglary warrant.

"We found multiple crimes — felonies, prison time, court decisions," said Michael Fisher, Brennan's attorney with the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm.

Brennan is now suing David Neal and Hilton Hotels in hopes they'll change some company policies.

"They have to be very careful with who you give access to that has the ability to create guest key cards for any room in the hotel," said Fisher.

NewsChannel 5 contacted the Hilton Corporation for comment and received this reply.

"Hilton Nashville Downtown is independently owned and operated by a third party and no Hilton entity employs staff at this property. The safety and security of our guests is our top priority and Hilton takes matters such as these very seriously," said Michelle Myers, a spokesperson for Hilton.

Myers referred us to a local manager of the hotel, who sent us this statement:

"The safety and security of our guests and team members is our highest priority. We are working closely with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, and, as part of company policy, we do not comment on ongoing investigations."
Hilton Nashville Downtown

As for Brennan, this whole episode is still a nightmare he keeps reliving.

"I’m having problems sleeping frankly, I’m going through some PTSD, talking to a therapist," said Brennan. "I still don’t really feel safe in my own home."

You can read a copy of Brennan's lawsuit against Hilton and David Neal here.