Crime-Riddled Super 8 Motel In North Columbus Shut Down By City Officials
Jason Allen and his family had plans to check out of the Super 8 motel today, just not this early.
“(I’ve) never been evicted anywhere in my life, so that was kind of weird,” he says.
The motel was a stopping point on the way to Kentucky, where his family is moving. He says he saw the eviction notices on the door last night, but then saw something that didn't make sense.
“We watched an elderly couple check in last night. Even with the notices on the door, they still checked in and we watched the lady walk them to their room, so we weren't sure what was going on,” Allen recalls.
Police records show the motel is a constant problem. Police say they received more than 700 calls for service in the past 30 months.
“We're not going to allow our neighborhoods to suffer from these mismanaged hotels,” said Bill Sperlazza, Assistant City Attorney.
Undercover officers began looking at the motel in September 2013 and say on numerous occasions they found evidence of drug transactions and prostitution. Police also cited a 10TV News report from last September about prostitution, as one example.
Many of those who checked into the motel were shocked by the shut-down notice.
“We get back from the zoo yesterday and there's a note on the door saying it's getting shut down for drugs and prostitution,” says Tabitha Wilson of Detroit, who was staying at Super 8 with her husband and two daughters.
The city says shutting down motels like the Super 8 is about keeping the criminal element out and guests safe.
“They don't know they are sleeping a wall away from a prostitute, a wall away from a drug transaction, a drug dealer, drug user (and) a pimp. We feel it’s our duty to keep them out of harm’s way," says Sperlazza.
This is not the first motel in the area to be shut down. In January, police shut down the Columbus Inn and Suites and the Red Carpet Inn after they were deemed a nuisance.
The owner of the Super 8 has a date with a judge next month to argue why the motel should stay open.