ASHEVILLE – A day before he was arrested for an attempted sex offense at a Weaverville hotel, a Tennessee man was arrested by Asheville police for trying to get into another woman’s room at a different hotel, according to a 911 call log.
Richard Carlton Barnhill, 30, was arrested by Asheville police and charged with second degree trespass on March 19 at the Courtyard by Marriott Asheville Biltmore Village, according to arrest and incident reports filed by APD.
The arrest came after a female guest at the hotel called the front desk and said that a man was attempting to enter her room, according to the record of the call.
Earlier, Barnhill had asked to be personally shown a room, an employee at the hotel said.
“No one does that,” the employee said. “Everything’s online now. You don’t just go up and say, ‘Can you show me a hotel room?'”
When he was informed that the hotel was fully booked, Barnhill attempted to “hang out” in the lobby area, the employee said, and was told to leave.
Later, a female guest called down to the main desk to let staff know that a man was knocking on her door, saying he needed to be let in, according to the hotel employee.
“And then I called the police for them to come search the hotel,” the employee said. “The officers came and searched the hotel. About, not even ten minutes (later), he was in handcuffs.”
On March 20, Weaverville police arrested Barnhill at a different hotel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites, the Citizen Times previously reported, for attacking a woman there. They charged him with first degree kidnapping, assault by strangulation, attempted second degree forcible sex offense, assault on a female and second degree trespass. He is being held on a secured bond of $352,000 at the Buncombe County Detention Center.
Related: Weaverville hotel worker fights off ‘sketchy’ man charged with attempted forcible sex offense
According to the woman listed as the victim in a magistrate’s order, Barnhill followed her into a room, where he demanded that she undress. When she refused, he pinned her to a bed. She kicked him in the chest and face, and escaped, she said.
“He had me to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it,” she said. “He had me almost blacking out, covering my mouth and nose to where I couldn’t breathe.”
Weaverville and Asheville police are sharing information, according to a March 23 media release from the Weaverville Police Department.
“The Weaverville Police Department has continued the investigation into the report of crimes committed on Sunday, March 20, 2022, at the Fairfield Inn at 25 Fairfield Approach Drive,” according to the release. “We have been communicating with the Asheville Police Department after learning about their investigation involving the same suspect at a hotel in Asheville. The Weaverville Police Department and the Asheville Police Department have worked closely together in the past. The two departments will continue our joint efforts to investigate these crimes with the objective of gathering evidence for prosecution and determining whether these pieces of information are related.”
Asheville police’s investigation into the March 19 incident is closed, but another investigation involving Barnhill is underway after a woman reported that he accosted her while she was in her car at downtown Asheville, according to APD Public Information Officer Bill Davis. He declined to discuss specifics as the investigation is underway.
A media representative for Courtyard by Marriott Asheville Biltmore Village could not be reached on March 24 or March 25.
Barnhill’s appointed defense attorney, Teal Mittelstadt, declined to comment.
Ryan Oehrli is the breaking news and social justice reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times. Email [email protected] or call 252-944-6816 for tips.