Motel 6 Manager 'Not Happy' With Crime at Property
A scheduled disciplinary hearing is on hold after the manager of the motel worked through a remediation plan with the police department's help.
"When that 19 year old got killed in my motel room, I couldn't sleep for three days," Jayesh Patel, manager of Motel 6 in Northborough told the Board of Selectmen at what was scheduled to be a disciplinary hearing for the motel.
Instead of a discliplinary hearing, based on a proactive move by Patel, managers and employees at the motel are taking a number of steps to combat the crime that has plagued the location. Patel contacted the Northborough Police Department and together constructed a plan.
In addition to the alleged murder (of which the two suspects have been charged with homicide), other Motel 6 incidents included a domestic dispute on April 14 that resulted in a woman striking a man in the face, a dispute on June 2 that involved two groups of partying youths that ended in a fight in the lot, and on Oct. 10 a dispute between two groups arising out of a marijuana purchase. That dispute warranted charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. And recently, a feuding couple wandered from the motel into the street and were hit by a car on Route 9.
"This is a family run business," said Attorney Robert Seder, who represented Patel. "If there is violence, this adversely affects his businesses. You have a common interest in remedying this situation."
The improvement plan includes updating surveillance equipment; there are some "dead spots" in the motel where coverage is lost, particularly in the hallways.
Patel, Seder and Police Chief Mark Leahy also talked about approaches in deterring unwanted guests at the motel.
"The meeting with Patel was productive," said Chief Leahy. "This is not the business he wants. Sgt. Det. Brian Griffin is intimately familiar with that property. We will do our best to put together crime prevention strategies for the staff. We have stepped up our patrols there significantly."
Motel 6, said Seder, is a magnet for crime because it has one of the best rates in the area. Patel said in the economy, he struggles with keeping the rates competitive with other similar hotel chains.
"I researched this trend, and there are a lot of other low-end hotels that this is happening at," he said.
Seder also said Patel has plans to improve the lighting, and add signage that indicates that the motel is under surveillance. Patel is also planning on obtaining a scanner to scan guests' identification upon check-in. Other ideas included requiring a parking tag for all vehicles of registered guests.
"I am not happy with what has been happening at my property," said Patel, who also manages a Motel 6 in Sturbridge that is presently closed because of Hurricane Sandy. "I want to stop this. I don't want people with illegal activities coming to my motel. I came to this country for hope and change. We take pride in this operation. I want us, as a family and as a community, to fight this. I am deeply saddened by all the events that have ocurred."
At the suggestion of Town Administrator John Coderre, Patel is required to submit the status of the improvements by Jan. 2.
A continuation of the disciplinary hearing will be scheduled for the Board of Selectmen meeting on Jan. 14.