Local Airbnb rental ends with a house trashed, owner arrested

WASHINGTON — It wasn’t a typical Airbnb rental, as it ended with guests allegedly being held at gunpoint by the homeowner host—who was then taken to jail.

That’s what Loudoun County, Virginia, sheriff’s deputies describe happening in Middleburg last weekend.

John A. “Jack” Andrews, 77, of Middleburg, was arrested about 9:30 a.m. Saturday and charged with brandishing a firearm and abduction.

That, after Andrews arrived at his $4 million property in the 3900 block of Snickersville Turnpike in Middleburg and found damage that the sheriff’s office said included blood. Video from NBC Washington shows blood on door frames, walls and pooled on the floor. Also, windows, doors and furniture were broken.

“As the rental party was cleaning up the property, the homeowner arrived on scene and confronted them with a firearm. Several members from the rental party fled and the remainder were held at gunpoint by the homeowner until deputies were summoned and arrived on scene,” Loudoun County sherriff’s office spokesman Kraig Troxell said in an email.

The renters were questioned by deputies and released. Andrews was taken to jail. Released on bond Monday, Andrews’ next court date is Sept. 25.

Investigators determined the renters had had a party at the property Friday night. “During the party, uninvited guests arrived. Sometime after their arrival, a physical altercation erupted,” Troxell said.

The incident remains under investigation by police and Airbnb.

“We are urgently investigating this incident,” an Airbnb spokesperson said. “The safety of our community is our priority.”

“There have been over 300 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date; negative incidents are extremely rare. These individuals have been removed from our community and we have reached out to local law enforcement to better understand what happened,” Airbnb said in a statement provided to WTOP. “We have zero-tolerance policies for vandalism and unwanted physical contact of any kind. The safety of our community is our priority.”

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up