Macon-Bibb County sues third motel for high amount of emergency calls
The most recent lawsuit is against America's Best Value Inn And Suites on Romeiser Drive for a high amount of criminal activity and emergency calls.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Macon-Bibb County is suing another motel.
The most recent lawsuit is against America’s Best Value Inn And Suites on Romeiser Drive for a high amount of criminal activity and emergency calls.
Mayor Lester Miller says the motel has had issues with things like drugs, shootings, prostitution and aggravated assaults.
“It’s not the right environment for our community,” Miller said. “It’s certainly not the right environment when you get off the exit for Macon-Bibb County.”
According to Mayor Miller, the three properties the county has filed a lawsuit against have pushed away tourism and economic development.
Mayor Miller says he hopes the lawsuits will help with the amount of calls the sheriff’s office receives since the office is understaffed.
“If they can get right, then they can stay open,” he said. “They can put cameras up, they can provide security, they can discourage these types of illicit activities, and they can be good business partners, but if they can’t do those things, and the court requires them to do those things and they don’t do those things, then we’re going to ask for those properties to be closed down.”
41NBC’s Ariel Schiller requested a copy of the second lawsuit filed against the Red Carpet Inn on Riverside Drive from David Cooke, who’s part of the legal team representing the county. It states the defendants have allowed, participated in and condoned the property being an annoyance to the public in general.
Sabrina Herring, the manager of the Red Carpet Inn, claims the hotel has made steps to improve the safety of the property.
“I have cameras everywhere,” she said. “If I see a lot of traffic in and out of a room, or to me it seems like it would be strange behavior, then I’ll ask them to check out or I won’t accept anymore rent from them and make them leave.”
Herring says she was unaware about rape and child molestation claims made in the lawsuit.
We looked through records of calls made to the property from 2016 until now. There were two calls for sex offenses, several for domestic disturbances and others that say ‘miscellaneous.’ We asked Herring if it’s possible some calls happened without her knowledge.
“I’m sure people from their room call, and I don’t know exactly what they call or say,” she said. “A lot of times they do come, and they’ll never stop at our front desk. We’ll have to go seek and try to find out why they’re here. There’s been a few times they won’t even tell us why they’re here. I mean I don’t know everything that they come here for, but I try to stay on top of it.”
Mayor Miller says the evidence in the lawsuit will tell a different story. He says they can’t continue turning a blind eye to the crime at the property.
“I believe shortly after we filed the action against the Red Carpet Inn,” Mayor Miller said. “So I’m not sure what actions they’re taking, but they’re certainly not sufficient, and perhaps they’re not the best people to be running that business.”
The county has also filed suit against Bridgeview Inn and Suites on Harrison Road.
Mayor Miller says the legal process will work itself out in court and says the county plans to take similar actions against other properties.