Spilled chemical prompts Rangers to evacuate hotel

10/21/2005 - NHL

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers were forced to
evacuate their Long Island hotel Thursday, just hours before their
5-4 loss to the rival New York Islanders, when a man wearing a
surgical mask dumped a chemical on the floor and then drove away.

The 23-year-old man, former Garden City Hotel employee Scott
Wallace, entered about 3 p.m., deliberately spilled the chemical on
the floor of the rotunda area and then fled, Nassau County police

The chemical later was found to be harmless, and no one was

Police hazardous-materials units and a mobile laboratory were
sent to the hotel to test the chemical, which smelled strongly like
ammonia. Hotel guests including the Rangers were temporarily forced

Wallace was arrested several hours later, police said in a news
release issued Thursday night. The charges against him hadn't been
determined, pending a consultation with the district attorney's

There was no telephone number listed for Wallace at the address
provided by police.

The Rangers didn't want to blame their second loss to the
Islanders in two nights on the chemical scare.

``It bothered a lot of people, but I wasn't affected by it,''
goalie Kevin Weekes said after the game. ``Players are used to a
game day routine, and when it gets disrupted it can throw you off
course a little bit, but you have to put things in perspective and
give it the proper priority. Lives saved are what's most important