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JUNE 24 - JULY 02, 2014

YouTube Video That Prompted Recent Raid on Niagara Rainbow Motel- DEBUNKED!

By Sara Martinez

June 24, 2014

Don’t know what your sense of fair play is, but this, and other images, were displayed on a YouTube video claiming these were actual pictures of the Rainbow Motel. They are not. This picture was from the website / These picture however prompted a raid on the motel.

A YouTube video that prompted a recent raid of the Niagara Rainbow Motel, located at 7900 Niagara Falls Blvd., has been verified as phony.

An investigation of the video reveals that the photos were captured in Japan and Thailand, not at the Niagara Rainbow Motel.

The video, titled "Niagara Rainbow Motel Review December 2013," contained a series of photos that were allegedly taken at the motel, and depicted deplorable conditions including moldy walls, filthy stained mattresses, duct tape covering electrical outlets and repulsive bathrooms, accompanied by chilling background music and captions that read, "These are what the rooms actually look like."

The link to the video, sent to Mayor Paul Dyster, prompted the mayor to order an immediate raid of the Rainbow Motel.

The YouTube video was posted by an anonymous TripAdvisor reviewer, 81GotScammed, who described an alleged experience at the Rainbow Motel.

"I booked a room, paid with cash, SAW the room, took video and pictures, then immediately demanded a refund. The room was disgusting and inhabitable!!" the poster wrote.

The author further claimed "I posted a YouTube video that accurately depicts what you should expect to find if you choose to stay here. It's titled "Niagara Rainbow Motel Review (December 2013). Apparently, a sticker on the counter that simply reads no refunds qualifies as your agreement to their terms of service, once you have paid. I called the Amherst Police department who confirmed that this was considered a civil litigation matter. They are called often, with the same complaint at this location. ?A thorough goole (sic) search turned up that an Adult Entertainment business is also linked to this motel and its owner."

The video was viewed over 9,000 times and gained media attention via Twitter, the Buffalo News and the Niagara Gazette.

The Niagara Falls Reporter investigated the video, and discovered that the disturbing photos were not associated with the Niagara Rainbow Motel at all. More than half of the images were copied from websites such as, and NBC News, and depicted squalid conditions in places far removed from Niagara Falls.

The phony YouTube video prompted a June 4 investigation into the motel by city building Inspectors, electrical and fire inspectors, the Niagara County Health Department, Code Enforcement, Niagara Falls Police detectives and intelligence officers.

After viewing the video that claimed these were pictures of the Rainbow Motel, Mayor Paul Dyster ordered a raid on the motel. This picture is of a house in Okinawa.

Mayor Paul Dyster stated that the city received a tip, which prompted an online search for more information. The disturbing YouTube video was then uncovered.

"We acted promptly when this data came to our attention," Dyster said. "We can't stop sleazy operators from trying to operate in a sleazy manner, but when something comes to our attention, we can certainly utilize our enforcement powers dramatically and rapidly to bring about change."

The raid resulted in citing the owner for safety violations such as missing smoke detectors, bedbugs and mold and condemning almost half of the rooms until conditions cited were corrected.

"The exact same things we saw on the video, we found there. You see everything on the video – the dirty sheets, the conditions of the bathrooms, the mold," said acting Code Enforcement head Dennis Virtuoso.

The Reporter inspected the condemned rooms and determined that while the violations were accurate, most of them were minor, such as not having the room doors properly numbered, having loose outlets, not having GFI plugs, and in a number of rooms having smoke alarms where the batteries were removed.

The motel management claimed that it was common for guests to remove the batteries in smoke detectors.

None of the rooms looked like the images depicted in the video, which in fact they were not.

None of the rooms were such that it required this kind of massive overkill raid.

All of the tenants living there expressed happiness with their rooms and the conditions and eagerly showed the Reporter their rooms, which were clean, modest and anything but lavish.

None of the guests, most of whom are weekly or monthly rentals, said they had ever seen or been bitten by a bed bug.

All of the over one dozen tenants we interviewed said the raid and the subsequent publicity was overblown.

None of them had any intention of moving.

Of the more than 9,000 views that the video received, over 8,000 of those viewings were conducted after the highly publicized raid of the motel.

After the story was printed in the Niagara Gazette, citizens became enraged with motel owner Nasser Joseph Alkhatib.

Some even resorted to racial discrimination and harassment, such as Niagara Gazette commenter Mary Smeal who told the owner "GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY," and Top Commenter Duane Hawkins who showed off his fundamental lack of literacy when he posted, "knock the place down every where we look something is owned by towel heads. wake up people we don't need their kind here. no wonder why it's a welfare state, towel heads are moving in and no jobs." Even Beth Wells from Saint Ignace, Mich., felt compelled to write "we allow these people into our country and this is how they do business because this is how they are used to living (third world country)."

While it is true that the rooms in the YouTube video were not rooms at the Niagara Rainbow Motel, it is true that the Niagara Rainbow Motel has been deceptive in its online advertising, which depicts elegant rooms with lavish linens on their website.

At $29 a night, they do not boast of having the most sanitary rooms, nor do they offer any spectacular amenities. The motel is a locally owned business, catering to travelers who prefer bargain over bang.

This phony YouTube video appears to be the primary cause of the multi- agency task force raid into the Niagara Rainbow Motel, without any attempt having been made to establish legitimacy of the video's content.

The Niagara Falls city officials prompted apparently by Mayor Paul Dyster fell for a phony scam that anyone with an ounce of computer savvy could have uncovered simply by tracing the URL's associated with the images depicted in the video.

This is a cause for concern.

The gullibility, naiveté and simple mindedness of our city's entrenched leadership having been firmly established long before the fraudulent Rainbow Motel video surfaced.

At the end of the day, in Niagara Falls, all it takes is one phony YouTube video to get a knock on your door and a raid.

Someone should make a phony video about Mayor Paul Dyster.

And see how he likes it.





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