WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Recent crime in the area of Peters Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem, near the Budget Inn, is causing concern in the surrounding community.
On Tuesday, police say there was a shooting at the motel. The victim told FOX8 that 14 shots were fired into his motel room. Thursday morning, the BP gas station across the street was robbed for the second time in less than a month. An employee at the neighboring Family Dollar told FOX8 that they’ve had multiple cases where items were stolen from their store.
“There’s fighting all over; all over the world. But there’s a war right here in our hometown,” said a Family Dollar employee who only identified himself as “Marquise.”
On Tuesday, a man who identified himself as the one who called 9-1-1 after the shooting at the Budget Inn, told FOX8 he was looking into taking legal action against the motel in hopes of getting it shut down.
Officials in the Winston-Salem City Attorney’s Office told FOX8 that the action taken would most likely be a nuisance abatement. They say in order for that to be valid, there must be “breach of the peace” at the motel.
Breach of peace means repeated acts that disturb the public order including, but not limited to, homicide, assault, affray, communicating threats, unlawful possession of dangerous or deadly weapons and discharging firearms.
Documents show that, since the beginning of June, there have been 13 reports of assaults, drug arrests, larcenies or robberies on Budget Inn property.
City attorneys also said that the property owners must have knowledge of such nuisances which are happening on their property.
They defined that as “having knowledge of the contents and character of the patently offensive sexual conduct which appears in the lewd matter, or knowledge of the acts of lewdness. With regard to nuisances involving assignation, prostitution, gambling, the illegal possession or sale of alcoholic beverages, the illegal possession or sale of controlled substances as defined in the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, or repeated acts which create and constitute a breach of the peace, evidence that the defendant knew or by the exercise of due diligence should have known of the acts or conduct constitutes proof of knowledge.”
FOX8 spoke with the manager of the Budget Inn via telephone, who informed us that the owners of the Budget Inn are in India, but are made aware whenever anything illegal takes place on their property.
“This place does not need to be here. This place causes more problems than the law allows. The cops can’t keep up with the problems in that hotel over there,” said Donald Norwood, who lives in the Peters Creek Parkway area.
Norwood, and other people we spoke to, say there is an issue with prostitution on Budget Inn property; which is carrying into the surrounding community.
“Hookers stand right on the corner right there. Right up here at the creek at Academy [at] 7 o’clock in the morning,” said Norwood.
When asked, a lieutenant with the Winston-Salem Police Department said he was “not going to argue and say it’s not” an issue. However, he said the same goes for many low-priced motels in the area. He added that whether prostitutes are using the Budget Inn to “complete or solicit [sex] is subjective.”
A captain with the department said they are having “quality of life issues” within the immediate area of the Budget Inn. He says they are being proactive in the area; upping patrols, being more visible, self-initiated and getting the perspective of business owners in the area. He could not say if the issues in the community were a result of crimes at the Budget Inn.
Richard Madison, of Red Wing Shoes directly across from the Budget Inn, says he’s been there for 35 years, and of late, things have improved.
“The last two or three years, I haven’t seen nor heard of all that much problem over there,” said Madison. “I’ve seen a lot more presence of the police doing patrols and sometimes just sitting out there in the parking lot for a period of time.”