Who could have seen this going so terribly, terribly wrong? An Oakland couple rented their home via Airbnb for New Year's Eve to someone they thought was a middle-aged man from Chicago, only to have the renter turn out to be a 17-year-old kid apparently planning on throwing the birthday party of his life. Things, shall we say, did not go as planned.
Jim Owen and Reshma Vasanwala had rented out their home via Airbnb before, reports ABC7, and said they had no reason to doubt that the renter was an adult visiting the Bay Area from Chicago, as the Airbnb user claimed he was.
"I'm a user, been a host," explained Vasanwala. "I have had good experiences, so I was not concerned. And he seemed very mature and was very polite."
That illusion was shattered when the couple received a late-night phone call.
"We got a phone call from our neighbor around 10:30 or 10:40, saying that there were about 50 to 60 kids in my house, partying in my house," Vasanwala told KRON4.
Owen and Vasanwala rushed home to find their place littered with beer cans and cigarettes, and reeking of marijuana.
"Sofas were outside," recalled Vasanwala. "The TV was in my bathroom. Objects photos, memorabilia .I have pictures of my nieces that are on my fridge that were completely on the floor, trampled on and torn, with shoe prints all over their cute, little faces."
Oh, and at least one wall was splattered with blood, notes CBS5.
In a statement issued by Airbnb and published by KRON4, the company was quick to condemn the teen's actions.
"We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior and our team is working quickly to make this right," reads the statement. "We have banned this guest from Airbnb, and our Trust and Safety team is reaching out to the host to work with them under our $1 Million Host Guarantee, which is designed to cover a host’s property in the rare event of damages."
Owen, meanwhile, expressed frustration to KRON4 that it took the company over 12 hours to get back to the couple, and noted that as a 17-year-old the teen never should have been able to use Airbnb in the first place.
“So, we were duped,” mused the strangely calm man. “He came here and they were looking to have a party. We found out later that it was his 18th birthday, so another issue is that he was an underage user.”
As for the plucky party teen? He's been arrested and charged with vandalism.