INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Thursday afternoon, detectives with IMPD’s Nuisance Abatement Unit served orders for two southwest area hotels to shut down.
The orders demand that everyone should be out of the Best Inn and America’s Best Inn by noon Saturday. A judge will decide whether or not to make the shutdown permanent at a hearing on May 23.
Police have been investigating this area for months after multiple officers and business owners started reporting problems with prostitution and drugs in the area near Interstate 465 and Harding Street. Management at one hotel had even signed an agreement with the city to clean up conditions and work with police to stop crime, but now police say they have not held up their end of the deal.
“They continue to rent rooms to the same individuals, the same prostitutes, and the same dope dealers,” said Detective Sergeant William Carter.
During one visit to the hotel this spring, the court orders accuse an employee of calling rooms to warn accused drug dealers and prostitutes that officers were in the building. There have also been a slew of health code violations at both of these hotels, from broken windows, rotting floors and cracked walls.
“If someone was just traveling through our city and just happened to get off the interstate, I wouldn’t want someone coming outside of town, coming to Indianapolis and by chance picking one of these places to stay because I’m sure they would never come back,” said Carter.
Sherley Fleweling works at Big O’s CB next to the Best Inn. Her and other workers say they’re constantly fighting crime off their parking lot.
“They [prostitutes] would climb up in the truck with the customers and I’d have to bang on the door to get the prostitutes out of truck,” said Fleweling.
Police officers have seen similar incidents and have made multiple arrests on the properties.
“Undercover officers have been down here buying drugs, seeing prostitutes running out of both of these hotels for several months,” said Carter.
There have been 63 police runs at Best Inn, since November. Now, the city and police have had enough and say it’s got to stop.
“These girls were operating prostitution out of the hotels. There was drug dealing, and a lot of that will now not have a place to do drugs or prostitute this week once they close,” said Carter.
People in the area say this is a step in the right direction, and hope the hotels get closed down for good.
“I just want to see them out of here,” said Fleweling.