Neighbors want Americana Motel shut down after alleged rape, stabbing
TOMS RIVER - Residents in an Ocean County community are calling for a hotel to be shut down after a 31-year-old woman was allegedly raped and repeatedly stabbed inside a room.
Edinson Martinez wants the Americana Motel on Route 166 closed. "I've been living here 10, 15 years and there's nothing good about that hotel," he says. "There's always something horrible, somebody got stabbed, someone got raped, so just shut it down."
Crystal Palmore is temporarily living at the motel with her son, and says police are called in regularly. "Every day, they're here every day, it's sad," she says. "You usually can't bring the kids out because it's detectives everywhere. It's horrible."
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Police have responded to 27 calls at the hotel since Jan. 1 and people who live in other parts of the township say it's unfair one place is monopolizing resources.
The manager of the Americana would not comment about the police calls for drugs, theft, a civil dispute and an arrest warrant.
Toms River resident Lina Todd says she's worried the calls are taking away from crime fighting and emergency response elsewhere. "If they're calling the cops so many times, it's just wasting money," she says.
Steen Tarpley, 48, is charged with kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault in the Feb. 16 attack.
The mayor says a 26-year-old man was shot and killed at the Americana Motel after an argument over drugs in 2002.