Toms River targets seedy motel with 750 police incidents
TOMS RIVER - Township police took aim at a downtown motel where 15 drug suspects were corralled in September.
The corporate owner of the Red Carpet Inn, 2 West Water LLC, and its managing member, Kartik Patel, are identified in the complaint by Toms River police. Police claim that there have been at least 750 incidents requiring their response since 2015, many involving drugs, weapons and thefts.
If a conviction is reached on a public-nuisance charge, it might be shuttered for up to a year.
The Inn at the intersection of Washington Street and Route 166 has also been known as a Red Roof Inn and, more recently, the "TP" Hotel.
The charge is filed under a law that "prohibits maintaining a nuisance, either by knowingly conducting or maintaining any premises where unlawful activity takes place, or by creating a condition which endangers public health or safety," according to information issued by township officials this morning.
The September arrests of 11 men and four women were precipitated by resident complaints and alleged open-air deals.
"Improving the quality of life for our residents by combating nuisance properties and their owners is a priority in our town," Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher said in prepared remarks.
"We will continue to hold negligent property owners responsible for contributing to crime and illegal activity by not maintaining safe and acceptable environments."
An inquiry for comment from Red Carpet Inn's parent company, Georgia-based Hospitality International, has so far elicited no response.
According to Toms River Council President Al Manforti, who represents the 4th Ward, the investigation by the recently-formed Quality Of Life Task Force has evolved over several months.
"It is clear this property owner has an inability to operate a responsible business as this property has become a magnet for criminal activity," Police Chief Mitch Little added.
"Through combined efforts with our newly formed Quality of Life Task Force, we will hold property owners accountable for creating a public nuisance."
According to njparcels.com, the property changed hands in December 2015 for $2.25 million, with land and building assessed at $3.75 million in value, and pays $91,425 in property taxes.