Hotel Bug Bite Onslaught Forces Church Group to Cut Trip Short

Bishop Paul Hall's Christ Universal Church Drum & Bugle Corps performed in Cincinnati last week

As many as 60 people, members of a south side Chicago church drum and bugle corps, say they were bitten by bugs during a several nights stay at a Cincinnati-area hotel.

Eight members of Bishop Paul Hall's Christ Universal Church said they planned on visiting an emergency room on Monday night because the bites were so severe. An adult who went on the trip said some of the bites appeared to be from bed bugs. Others may have been fire ants.

"The trip was a horrible nightmare," said Hall. "We spent $4,000 to sleep in horror, and that's a lot of money to inner city, south side children who raised that money."

The attacks were so severe chaperones said they cut the trip short, leaving the Ramada Inn in nearby Florence, Ky., a day earlier than planned.

Making matters worse: the group said they received no refund or even an apology for the experience.

"We tried to meet with the owner. She was having nothing to do with us," said Hall. "She said she would meet us at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. She never showed up."

One of the biting victims, Latoya Lewis, said hotel management insinuated that the kids brought the bugs with them.

Corps officials said they plan to complain to city and state health departments and are considering filing a lawsuit as well.

The drum and bugle corps has previously performed at the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

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