A McLean man slipped into international infamy this month when he was arrested for criminal mischief in upstate New York after being found completely covered in Vaseline. Roger Chamberlain’s exploits with the unctuous substance made headlines as far away as Australia, due to what officials call the “bizarre” nature of the incident that has resulted in his being dubbed “The Vaseline Man.”
Sgt. Thomas Williams of the Binghamton Sheriff’s Department apprehended Chamberlain, 44, of McLean, on May 8. According to Williams, Chamberlain had checked into a local Motel 6 hotel room with 14 jars of Vaseline and promptly slathered himself and every surface of the room with petroleum jelly. He then checked out of the hotel without mentioning the glimmering mess he’d left behind in the room. It was later discovered by the cleaning crew, which alerted hotel management.
Williams located Chamberlain at another hotel room in town, where he “was covered from head to toe in Vaseline. Head to toe.” He was charged with criminal mischief and held at the Broome County jail until being released on May 11.
“He was a little nutty,” said Williams. “He was smoking some crack cocaine and had a stack of pornographic magazines that we found in the trash can,” said Williams. “It was kind of odd, you know. We’ve seen some strange things. I could go on for days, but never a room full of Vaseline,” said Williams.
This is not the first time Chamberlain has engaged in this type of activity, according to Williams. “He’s done it a couple of times before. He’s got a girlfriend in the area, so he comes here. He also did it two times at the Super 8 Motel, but they didn’t report it,” said Williams.
Chamberlain could not be reached for comment.
Brian Greene, a manager at the Motel 6 where the incident occurred, said the damage reaches into the thousands of dollars because the Vaseline was applied to the room’s television set, mattresses, bedding, furniture, carpet and towels. “With what he used, we had to throw it all out,” said Greene. “It’s gonna cost like $4,000 to get the room up and running. We still can’t use that room,” said Greene.
“In actuality, at first glance the room looks normal. Then you take a step into it, and boy, you’re slipping all over the place. It’s just a mess,” said Greene. “He hadn’t done it at our hotel before, but he had done it two times at the Super 8,” said Greene.
“At Motel 6, if it’s a burn in the carpet or something, well, we’re going to let that go. But for something like this, they are going to go after you,” said Greene.
“This is the wildest thing I ever saw. He’s banned now from Motel 6. This is a really nice place. You can’t do things like that. I can’t say about the other hotels in town,” said Greene.