Family Sues Las Vegas Hotel After They Allegedly Found Live Bat in Room: 'Emotionally Distressing'

The family is suing for more than $15,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit

An Arizona family is suing a Las Vegas hotel after they allegedly found a live bat in their room and then had to receive rabies treatment.

According to a lawsuit filed this month, the shocking discovery came as Marcus Rucker and his family were staying at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino from April 7 to 11, 2022, for a volleyball tournament, reported KTVK/KPHO, Fox affiliate KVVU-TV and NBC affiliate KSNV-TV.

On the family's final night at the hotel, Rucker claims he awoke around 4 a.m. local time when he heard a sound coming from the curtains. That's when Rucker, who was staying in the room with two of their children's friends, allegedly discovered the bat.

"Unfortunately, I had to kill the bat," Rucker told KSNV-TV. "I didn't want it to bite anybody in the room."

Related: Woman, 88, Suffered 'Excruciating Pain' in Deadly Alligator Attack That Could Have Been Avoided: Lawsuit

According to the suit, Rucker claims he then placed the dead bat in a cup and left it in the stairwell near his room.

He reported the incident to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health in addition to notifying the hotel, which then removed the bat.

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The department said that his family and the bat needed to be tested for rabies, per the suit.

"I had to get two shots on my leg, one on my shoulder initially the first day, and we had to get subsequent shots for the next three weeks," Rucker told KSNV-TV, calling the entire experience "emotionally distressing."

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The family, which claims the hotel failed to "inspect the room" and "make the premises safe from hazardous conditions," is seeking over $15,000 in damages, per the lawsuit. A hearing date has not been set, the outlets reported.

Rucker and MGM Resorts International, which owns the hotel, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's requests for comment.

Related: Nevada Woman Died of Heat Stress While Waiting for Air Conditioning to Be Fixed, Family Claims in Lawsuit

Hally Cokenias, co-founder of Arizona Bat Rescue, told KTVK/KPHO that it is important to wear gloves when coming into contact with a bat because otherwise "it's just a bad idea."

"Just like you wouldn’t grab a scorpion, you wouldn’t grab a tarantula, don’t grab a bat," added Cokenias.

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