SAN ANTONIO – A South Side motel near the I-10 and I-37 interchange is getting a host of extra attention over what city officials say is continuing and increasing criminal activity.
Armed with a Dangerous Assessment Response Team (DART) warrant on Tuesday, San Antonio Police and other city departments descended on the Ever Kleen Motel in the 1300 block of Roosevelt Avenue, at the corner of E. Mitchell Street.
Assistant City Attorney Eric Burns, who runs DART’s field operations, said they had targeted the property because of the presence of “documented gang members” at the property.
SAPD records also show 409 calls for service in the two years leading up to Tuesday’s DART action, including numerous disturbances, assaults, and drug law violations.
More than a third of the calls, though, appear to have been initiated from within SAPD rather than from a 911 call. There were 88 “patrol by” calls, which are typically requests from within the department, and 68 calls noted as “on site activity.”
“DART’s not going to tolerate the use of property for criminal activity, for narcotics, for gang activity. Nor are we going to allow the motel to be used as long-term housing when it is not suitable for that,” Burns said.
The DART unit is meant to tackle the city’s worst nuisance properties. It brings together numerous city departments to look for issues at a property. If the owner doesn’t comply with fixing the issues, the city can pursue a lawsuit that could shut the property down for up to a year.
San Antonio Police said the visit to the property on Tuesday turned up three stolen guns and several safes that were presumed stolen. They arrested three people on outstanding warrants and another two for drug possession.
An SAPD spokesman said other narcotics appeared to have been flushed down the toilet.
Burns and the motel’s owner confirmed DART had also targeted the property in 2018.
The owner, who did not want to speak on camera, said he was “shocked” to see how many calls for service there had been at the motel and denied knowing about any illegal activity.
He said there were people who stayed at the motel for three or four months at a time.
Burns did not have a final tally of what the Tuesday visit had turned up but said they would meet with the property owner when their investigation is done.
The owner indicated he planned to comply with the city’s requirements.