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Woodbury Woman Seeks To Close Troubled Motel

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WOODBURY, Minn. (WCCO) – Two weeks after police say a man held eight people hostage at the Red Roof Inn in Woodbury, an online movement is underway to shut down that motel.

A Woodbury mom has launched a Facebook page and an online petition.

She says she was shocked by just how much crime takes place at the motel, and now she’s calling on the city to do something about it.

On August 31, eight people were held hostage for hours at Woodbury Red Roof Inn. One of them was shot and killed by police, who mistakenly thought he was their suspect.

For Melanie Snyder that was enough.

“Anything can happen. It could be a bus full of school kids that are on their way to the skate park over there, and something could happen,” Snyder said.

So Snyder got busy creating an online petition and a Facebook page. Her mission was to shut down the motel. She had already researched the criminal activity there. What she was found was shocking.

“I found that in the last year, from August of last year to August of this year, there had been about 290 police calls made to the Red Roof Inn,” she said.

That’s more than any other hotel or motel in Woodbury. The crimes she discovered in pages of police reports were even more disturbing than the number.

“A lot of the calls were warrant arrests, drugs, prostitution, criminal sexual conduct,” she said.

Snyder plans to take her concerns to the Woodbury City Council. Woodbury mayor Giuliani Stephens says while the city has limited ability to regulate businesses, she agrees something has to change.

“The correct thing is to address the criminal activity that is taking place there, and we do want that addressed by the ownership and management,” Stephens said.

The mayor says it’s not an issue that would go on the council agenda, but Snyder intends to be heard. She hopes to speak before the council later this month. And hopes those who’ve signed the petition and joined the Facebook page will stand with her.

Snyder says she’s open to alternative to shutting down the motel, like more police patrols and hiring off-duty officers for security.

The city council meeting is on September 26.

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