Police Video Raises Questions About Gretchen Wilson’s New Mexico Hotel Eviction
Police bodycam footage from during Gretchen Wilson's recent eviction from a hotel in Las Cruces, N.M., raises questions about hotel employees' claims that the country singer was being too loud too late at night.
The Associated Press obtained the footage of the Oct. 13 incident via a public records request and released details about it, though not the video itself, on Friday (Oct. 25); however, a YouTube channel named Police Pursuit uploaded the full 38-minute video on Wednesday (Oct. 23). Readers can view the complete encounter above.
The video shows police officers entering the hotel and conversing with a front desk employee before venturing up to Wilson's hotel room. They knock on one door and identify themselves multiple times before Wilson, who is wearing a robe, answers at a different door.
At first, Wilson converses quietly with officers in the hotel hallway, then invites them into her room -- which is dark, but has a television on -- to explain what happened. She points out the table at which she and a man she identifies as her fiance had been sitting, drinking a bottle of wine and quietly talking, and remains polite throughout the conversation.
"It's just us two. How can this be too loud?" Wilson says she wondered. "So I told them, 'If we're too loud, than your walls are too thin, I'm sorry.'"
According to original reports, an employee at Las Cruces' Hotel Encanto called 911 on Wilson around 3:30AM on the morning of Oct. 13, after visiting her room and asking her to be quiet multiple times. The singer was in town for the Las Cruces Country Music Festival, which she played on Saturday night (Oct. 12).
"We went up there multiple times in the past half hour," the employee told the dispatcher during that call. "So, then I went up there, and she said that she was a celebrity, but I forgot to get her name. Apparently, Gretchen something."
Wilson said in an Oct. 13 tweet that she got offstage at 11:30PM local time and was in her room at 12:30 "only talking," which is also what she tells the police officers. According to the Hotel Encanto employee, though, Wilson was "being super loud," and when she was asked to quiet down, the employee said, "Her words [were], 'I paid for the room -- I could care less what people think.'"
About eight minutes into the video, one of the responding police officers notes that, based on his observations, Wilson and her fiance aren't being noisy. "We've had nothing but problems from this hotel all day," the singer replies, noting that her lodging was provided by the festival. Earlier in her conversation, she'd shared that the hotel had refused her request for room service earlier in the day.
As the police explain to Wilson that they are simply following the hotel's orders to eject her, she becomes emotional, explaining that she has an early-morning flight and would just like to get some sleep. After an employee passes along a manager's message that Wilson will be allowed to stay in her room until check-out time later that morning, however, Wilson refuses.
"We’re not going to stay. We are not. We have been treated like s--t since we’ve been here,” she says, as the video captures Wilson and her fiance packing up and leaving. Addressing the police officers, she adds, "And having you here tonight -- to see your presence here tonight -- totally uncalled for. It's a waste of your time ..."
Explains Wilson in a statement, "There had been no party, no music and not even a TV making noise when I was asked to leave. I was exhausted and upset just like anyone would be in this situation.”
Wilson, best known for her hit "Redneck Woman," also dealt with police in August of 2018 when she was involved in a "minor disturbance" on a flight landing at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., on Aug. 21. After the plane landed, Wilson reportedly "became belligerent toward the troopers and caused a disturbance" while they were speaking with her, and she was taken into custody and charged with breach of peace.
That September, the breach of peace charge was dismissed after Wilson agreed to donate $500 to a charity for injured crime victims. She was also required to stay out of trouble in the court's jurisdiction area for 13 months.
See Country Stars' Mugshots