The judgment prohibits the owners of the Carolina Inn from operating a nuisance property anywhere in the state and mandates permanent security improvements to the property, North Carolina State Alcohol Law Enforcement said in a statement today.
A complaint on the matter, which was based on numerous calls to the establishment, and the subsequent order have the potential of turning the Carolina Inn back to a motel rather than a flophouse as its current use is viewed, city officials have said.
The Roanoke Rapids Police Department has been called to the property multiple times during the past few years, including stabbings, fighting, controlled substances, prostitution and other crimes. There was also a murder there in 2012.
This judgment is the latest step in a civil nuisance abatement case brought by the city of Roanoke Rapids on behalf of the State of North Carolina. Darshan Enterprise owns and operates the property.
“The Carolina Inn has had a long history of criminal violations that have consistently drained law enforcement resources and negatively impacted the community at large,” said Josh Batten, assistant special agent in charge for Alcohol Law Enforcement which helped Roanoke Rapids prepare the civil suit.
The judgment mandates the installation of specific security features, requires licensed security personnel to be present on the property during certain hours and prohibits long term tenants. No one is allowed to engage in any nuisance-related criminal activity on the property, regardless of ownership.
“Large lodging facilities that become a hub for criminal activity will not be tolerated in our community,” said Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty. “It is paramount that law enforcement and the community work together to solve these problems. I sincerely appreciate the cooperation and input of the property owners in this matter.”
“Many times when motels are used as permanent residences, they become a breeding ground for criminal activity,” said Batten. “These court-mandated requirements should benefit both the property owners and the community as a whole.”
Hasty said this afternoon the owners have 90 days to comply with the consent order. “We will be monitoring.”
The investigation and information gathered for this lawsuit was a joint effort between members of the Roanoke Rapids Police Department and members of ALE’s Nuisance Abatement Team.