I rented out my tiny Airbnb - and came home to find 50 US servicemen having a party

PUBLISHED: 09:50 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:50 17 May 2017

Sara Bear's barn conversion where it is claimed more than 50 men and women from RAF Lakenheath attended an unauthorised party. Picture: Sara Bear

Sara Bear's barn conversion where it is claimed more than 50 men and women from RAF Lakenheath attended an unauthorised party. Picture: Sara Bear

Archant

An American serviceman is being investigated after he allegedly punched a man who came home to find his two-bed holiday let occupied by more than 50 military personnel.

Sara Bear and her partner let their converted barn, which is behind their family home in Breckland, out to the public on the hospitality website Airbnb.

Ms Bear claims a servicewoman from RAF Lakenheath booked the property under the pretence that there were two of them who wanted “a quiet weekend”.

In the early hours of Saturday morning Ms Bear and her partner were in Norwich when they got a text from their neighbour telling them they needed to get home.

When they arrived home at around 1.15am she said there were more than 50 servicemen in her “tiny” holiday let.

She said: “When I walked around the holiday let it was just rammed. They had brought smoke machines, their own sound machine, disco lights and tables. I called the police and we started asking people to leave.”

She added: “Most of them just left fine. They were quite respectful. They were surprised when we turned up. A couple of them were annoyed we had ruined their party and they had a lot to say about it. One of the servicemen punched my partner.”

He suffered cuts to his cheek and mouth. Norfolk police have said they are currently investigating an assault.

Lieutenant Elias Small, 48th Fighter Wing public affairs officer at RAF Lakenheath, said: “We are aware of the alleged incident involving an airman from RAF Lakenheath and are cooperating fully with the investigation being conducted by police authorities.

“While I can’t discuss ongoing investigations, I can tell you that we hold our airmen to high standards and expect them to treat their fellow wingmen and community neighbours with dignity and respect.”

An Airbnb spokesman said: “We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, have removed the guest while we investigate, and are providing our support to the host. There have been over 160 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings and bad experiences are extremely rare.”

Ms Bear said the “sheer volume” of people has caused tiles in the kitchen to come loose and damage was caused to her freezer door.

The 37-year-old added: “I just don’t think it is right that 50 people, whether they are university students, friends or airmen representing another country, have a party in some body’s home in false pretences.

“I think it is important that this is not allowed to happen again.”

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