In an attempt to stop what it calls “rampant criminal, drug and prostitution” activity, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office has filed suit against a Redding, California motel, accusing the Market Street Manor of serving as a hub for violent crime. The lawsuit, announced on Thursday, November 1, 2018, claims that the motel is putting an undue strain on law enforcement officials and harming the value of community businesses.
California Motel Serves As “Hub” For Criminal Activity, Prosecutor Says
Market Street Manor was purchased in 2017 by brothers Desmond and Chandler Gumbs through their company Earl Freddy Invest C LLC. The owners live in the Bay Area, not Redding. Dawn Bianco has managed the 28-unit property for four months. She told reporters on Thursday that she lives on the premises, and has been working hard every day to clean up the motel. “I want it nice,” she said in an interview for the Redding Record Searchlight.
Police say crime is excessive and common at the property. In responding to the motel, law enforcement officials say they routinely discover people under the influence of controlled substances, prostitution, narcotic sales and violent crimes. Investigations of the motel have also found “deplorable living conditions,” says Action News Now, including infestations of rats, mice and bedbugs.
Motel Blamed For Excessive Criminal Activity
Through March 14, 2018 to October 8, 2018, a news release from the Redding District Attorney says, the motel accounted for 124 calls to local law enforcement. That was more than double the law enforcement activity seen by the motel before the Gumbs took ownership of the property, according to Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett. “There’s definitely been illegal activity,” she said, “really it’s kind of a hub of illegal activity downtown. By holding the owners responsible, my office hopes that this action can change the way the motel is operated.”
Dawn Bianco says she’s been working her tail off to end the motel’s problems. “I took this place over to improve it, make it a better place,” she told reporters. “And I’ve been working my butt off hard to improve it, room by room.” Bianco says evictions have begun, in an effort to clear out problem residents who are living in some of the rooms. “The traffic, the people, it’s not all of the people here, but there’s a few here that need to go, that are causing a lot of ruckuses,” she said.
Ownership Accused Of Neglecting Redding Motel
Meanwhile, the Gumb brothers, who said they had not yet seen the lawsuit at press time, are hopeful that Bianco’s efforts will help to reduce criminal activity on the property. District Attorney Bridgett hopes that the motel’s issues can be resolved without a trial, but says that she’s prepared to take the case to a court conclusion if need be.
“We’ll end up in court on this,” she said. “It is preferable for us to work with the owners and try to and come up with some type of resolution on how they can fix it, as well as any penalties that are appropriate at this, and come to a civil judgment.” Alongside civil penalties, the lawsuit seeks to force the motel’s owners to live on the property until its criminal activity problem is significantly reduced.
The Shasta County District Attorney’s Office is again proving that civil litigation can be an effective way of addressing violent crime. This is the third lawsuit filed by the Office in the past three years against a Redding-area motel alleging excessive criminal activity.
Help Is Available For Survivors Of Violent Crime
Individual survivors of crime at the Market Street Manor may also be eligible to file suit and pursue financial compensation for their damages. Were you or a loved one injured by criminal activity at the Market Street Manor? You may be able to pursue justice by filing a private civil lawsuit. The motel’s ownership has been accused of allowing crime to fester on the property, leaving residents and guests vulnerable to crime. These allegations may serve as the basis for a private civil lawsuit.
Learn more about your legal options in a free consultation today. Our compassionate attorneys understand the significant hardships that many victims of crime face on their path to recovery. If you or a loved one were harmed, we can help. There’s no risk in finding more information. Just contact our lawyers now for a free, confidential consultation.