'Stoned out their minds:' Cumberland County residents say crime, drugs and prostitution at motels trickling into neighborhood

20 June 2022

— Some Cumberland County residents say crime from nearby motels is trickling down into their neighborhood and they want it to stop. There’s a community watch meeting on Monday night to address the issues.

Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright and Chief Deputy C.J. Broadus said what’s happening at three motels near the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville happens every day and has been going on for years.

“This is the worst of the three,” Wright said about Coliseum Inn. “This is the one that has over 200 calls.”

Since 2019, data from the sheriff’s office showed some of the most serious offenses at the motels are 20 homicides, 39 sex offenses, 28 overdoses and 11 cases of human trafficking.

In total, there have been 246 reported crimes at Coliseum Inn, at 2507 Gillespie St., 127 reported crimes at Carolina Motor Inn at 2533 Gillespie St. and 81 reported crimes at Relax Inn at 2526 Gillespie St. since 2019.

Sanat Naik, the owner of Coliseum Inn, said he agrees there’s a problem and one he doesn’t condone.

Naik said he needs help to get rid of the handful of troublemakers causing problems.

“It’s been a losing battle with mostly homeless, and then, of course, there’s drug activity or whatever they’re doing. I mean, this is just all local business,” said Naik.

Wright wants to declare the three motels a public nuisance and have them shut down.

Residents who live nearby are also upset about the crime in the area.

“You see pimps at the top of the street watching them to see what they do, and they are so stoned out their minds that some of them can’t even walk, and it is really shocking. It’s scary,” said one resident who asked not to be identified by WRAL News.

“The residents, they have a right to be upset because you have prostitution walking up and down the street [and] walking through their neighborhoods,” said Wright.

Wright said his deputies face a vicious cycle of repeat offenders.

“We pick them up, take them down and before you know it, before the deputy finishes the paperwork, that person’s back out here,” he said.

Wright said he plans to collect evidence and present it to the county’s attorney, who will ultimately decide if the businesses stay open or will get shut down.

WRAL News reached out to Carolina Motor Inn and Relax Inn but did not hear back.

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