Grove City motel shut down after police declare it a public nuisance

GROVE CITY, OH (WCMH) — A Grove City motel was shut down Thursday morning after being declared a public nuisance. Grove City police ordered dozens of residents of the Star City Inn & Suites to pack up their belongings and move out.

Grove City Safety Director William Vendra said the facility has become a critical public safety problem.

“We are requesting relief through the Franklin County Municipal Court system,” Vendra said.

Sgt. Rick Hardy said there were 362 police and emergency medical services calls to the motel in 2016.

“And that ranged from overdoses, officers administering Narcan to sexual assaults to physical assaults to theft, robbery and then culminating with a recent homicide,” Hardy said.

City officials say that so far in 2017 monthly calls to the motel have increased by 50 percent.

A team of social services workers were on hand to help residents make arrangements for other places to live.

Rose Kraft said she and her son are homeless and had been at the motel for a few days.

“I didn’t see anything wrong here,” Kraft said. “My niece lives down the street and she told me it wasn’t very good but when you need a place to sleep, you sleep where you find a cheap place to sleep.”

Chris Brach says she’s stayed at the motel several times when she had no other options.

“It wasn’t the best but it was cheap,” Brach said.

Cody Robbins and Holly Leonhard have stayed at the Star City Inn off and on for most of the past two years, not because they wanted to but because it’s what they could afford.

“If we had another place to go, would we be here?” Leonhard asks as a tear slides down her left cheek. “They let us have our cat here. I…we don’t know where else to go.”

Robbins tries to answer with words of encouragement.

“It’s another barrier you have to overcome,” he says. “We’ll figure something out eventually.”

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