Columbus Officials Shut Down Hotel Named In Prostitution, Drug Complaints

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For the second time in two days, a Franklin County judge ordered a north Columbus motel to close its doors.

On Wednesday, Columbus Police officers swarmed The Red Carpet Inn on state Route 161, just east of Interstate 71.

Columbus police say the motel is a haven for drugs and prostitution.

10TV obtained the complaint filed in Franklin County Environmental Court, ordering the motel to close.

Some people who live in the area say they are pleased that the city is taking action.
“This has been going on for years and years and we can't get any action up here, and finally someone is taking a look at it,” Herbert Crites said.

We were at the Red Carpet Inn on Wednesday as Columbus police went door-to-door posting signs and securing doors.   

The assistant city attorney, Bill Sperlazza said that police are called to the motel nearly every day, “In 2013 we had 358 calls for service to this hotel that makes it one of the highest ranking hotels in that regard in the city.”

On Tuesday, the Columbus Inn and Suites, also on on Route 161, was forced to shut down for the same reasons.

“There are other hotels in this neighborhood, and they should be put on notice: if they don't do what is necessary to stop the drug activity, to stop the prostitution activity in their hotels, they could be next,” Sperlazza said.

Sperlazza said 30 rooms in the motel were occupied. He said the city is working with social service agencies to help those with nowhere to go.

The city attorney's office says the motel will remain closed through January 29.

There will be a hearing to determine whether or not the motel should remain closed through the duration of the court case.

Both the owner and the city are able to appeal the ruling.