Hotel worker badly beaten

A hotel caterer and part-time security guard at Holiday Inn on Manzanita Avenue in Chico was savagely beaten Friday night when he attempted to break up a fight in the hotel parking lot.

Travis Williams, 22, who a co-worker described as a “fun, big-hearted person,” was helping out on security detail at the hotel’s On the Rocks Lounge late Friday night when a fight broke out just outside the lobby between Lloyd Murray, a recent parolee who had been drinking with his brother in the lounge, and several other unidentified people. According to police spokesman Sgt. Dave Barrow, the fight apparently had something to do with the sale or loan of some CDs.

According to hotel manager Carla Williams (no relation), Travis Williams left the hotel to help break up the fight and was immediately struck by Lloyd.

“He was blindsided,” Carla said. “I don’t think he ever saw it coming.” Williams fell and struck his head, she said, whereupon Murray began kicking him in the head and stomping him with his feet, putting his entire weight into the attack.

When police arrived, Murray was uncooperative and had to be subdued with a Taser, Barrow said. He was arrested and charged with felony battery, a parole violation. His brother, Michael Murray, was also apparently involved in the fight, was arrested for misdemeanor battery.

Travis Williams, who had been working at Holiday Inn while studying at Chico State, received multiple injuries to his head and spent the week in critical condition. Today, hotel workers received word from his mother that his condition had stabilized. Carla Williams said Travis was so attentive and conscientious in his work that his fellow workers often teased him, calling him “The CEO.”

Williams is also known to his coworkers as a dedicated humanitarian, who volunteers for both ARC and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Last summer, after ending a job teaching English in Thailand, he stayed an extra few weeks to help victims of the Tsunami that devastated the Indian Ocean coastline. Upon his return to Chico he organized a series of small events that raised $1,100 for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The hotel will host a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for Travis’ recovery on Monday, Dec. 12 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Holiday Inn’s bar has had problems before, but has been relatively quiet for about the last four years.