Sunnyside motel cited as epicenter of Lower Valley crime

Sunnyside motel cited as epicenter of Lower Valley crime »Play Video
SUNNYSIDE, Wash -- Sunnyside's Town House Motel is a cheap stop that's blamed for placing an increase the city's crime rate.

Officers tell KIMA the motel is an epicenter for lower valley prostitution, drugs and crime.

"'We're doing everything we can to make that more of a safe environment,” said Sunnyside Police Sergeant, Joey Glossen.

Police were called to the motel on Yakima Valley Highway nearly 100 times in the past three years.

Officers recently charged the motel's owner with a chronic nuisance violation, a first for a Sunnyside business.

However, owner Fred Kim tells KIMA he screens customers to the best of his ability and can't control what happens after they check-in.
"I don't really have a choice of doing a background check on my customers,” Fred Kim said.

Police say they've tried to work with Kim, but say he hasn't co-operated.

"There are other hotels that we're getting better compliance from,” Glossen said.

Kim disagrees and feels he's being treated unfairly.

"I don't mind they do their job but after they're doing it and blaming me and giving me a ticket for it, that's the part that I don't understand it,” Kim said.

Every neighbor and business in the area that KIMA spoke with did not want to comment on camera. They all say the motel is a haven for crime. One woman said she keeps her doors locked and looks over her shoulder at all times.

Many hope that this nuisance violation is the start of cleaning up a troubled part of town, Police cracking down until the crime checks out.

The motel owner goes to trial this week for the nuisance violation. If found guilty, he could be fined.

Police could also increase enforcement on the property.