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Tour guide 'genuinely sorry' for incident involving Native American students

"I go to work every day really excited because – this place is my home. CSU has made me feel like Im at home and I want to do the same for everyone else."
Credit: Lorraine Gray

FORT COLLINS — The Colorado State University senior who was leading a tour when police were called about two Native American teens says she's genuinely sorry about the incident.

On Monday, 19-year old Thomas Gray and 17-year old Lloyd Gray traveled to Colorado State University in Fort Collins from their home in northern New Mexico.

The brothers joined a campus tour after it already started. According to CSU administrators, another parent on the tour became “nervous by the presence of two young men who joined the tour while it was in progress.”

RELATED: Mother says sons were reported to police at CSU because they are Native American

When police arrived, officers spoke to the teens and realized they had done nothing wrong and were part of the tour. The siblings called their mother to let her know what happened. By that point, the tour group moved on without them.

Gabriella Visani was the tour guide. She wrote a letter to the boys' mother on Facebook and spoke with 9NEWS late Thursday night.

"I feel very sad about what happened. My commitment on every tour – I take my job very seriously – its all there in the letter," Visani said. "But I go to work every day really excited because – this place is my home. CSU has made me feel like Im at home and I want to do the same for everyone else."

She also says she didn't realize what happened until after the tour was over because the incident happened near the recreation center-- a very busy area of campus.

"It's really busy, especially at that time of the afternoon. So when I go in there, I just kind of hope everyone makes it out – I always say just meet us out front if you get lost or anything like that."

"At that location specifically it's very hard to keep track of people. And as I said in my letter, a lot of times people leave the tour – they get bored or whatever. Want to do something else."

Lorraine Gray, the boys' mother, doesn't believe that.

"They aren’t responsible for the woman who’s prejudiced or whatever her values are, but they are responsible for how they reacted to her actions," said Gray. "And the woman who led the tour says she didn’t see what happened... you’re running a tour of 12 to 15 people and police come up and you don’t notice? I don’t buy it."

Still Visani hopes the family sees she is sorry for what happened.

"I hope that the family sees how deeply sorry CSU is that this happened. That’s one thing," Visani said. "I think that’s truly our values. Our values are that we are so sorry. Not just in an apologetic placating way. But genuinely with them – sorry that this happened ."

Have a story idea or comment email me at janet.oravetz@9news.com

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