Originally Published:Monday, May 30th 2011, 10:49 PM
Updated: Monday, May 30th 2011, 11:50 PM
Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 74, former head of the Bank of Alexandria and now chairman of a leading Middle Eastern salt company, is accused of locking the 44-year-old hotel employee inside his $900-a-night room at The Pierre on E. 61st St. off Fifth Ave.
He had called for room service requesting tissues and answered the door in his pajamas, police sources said. When the maid, whom he had not specifically requested, arrived at his 10th-floor room, he asked her to put the box of tissues on a table, sources said. As she moved toward the table, he locked the door.
"He locked her in the room and had her trapped," a police source said. "He grabbed her breasts, groped her. He was grinding against her."
Omar then asked the maid for her phone number, a police source said. After she gave him a made-up number he let go, and she fled the room.
The incident happened about 6 p.m. on Sunday but was not reported to police until Monday morning.
Omar was arrested at the hotel Monday afternoon and was charged with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment, officials said. He was being held at the 19th Precinct stationhouse on the upper East Side Monday night.
"When I came in they were all talking about it," said a bellman at the hotel, who declined to give his name. "When she came to his room, he got carried away. He started grabbing at her. He wouldn't let her go."
The maid has worked at the hotel for about a year, co-workers said. She did not return to work Monday.
"I don't want to say it, but he tried to rape her," the bellman added. "It's a total copycat of what happened with the French guy."
"They were saying the guest was a very nice guy, and then this," said a shocked housekeeper at the hotel. "Human beings are strange."
With Kerry Wills