Newport News hotel shut down for code violations has ‘way too many police calls’

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Inspectors have shut down the Point Plaza Suites on J Clyde Morris Boulevard for code violations, but they’re not the only city employees making frequent visits.

The police department says it made 127 calls to the hotel from January to June of this year, an average of five calls a week.

“127 calls in one location? That’s a lot,” said Police Chief Steve Drew. “That’s way over what it should be.”

Owner Dave Vaishnav acknowledges the crime, but says not all of those came from the front desk – and he can’t control when guests want to call 911.

But Chief Steve Drew says Point Plaza says the type of calls, including  robberies, sex offenses, suspicious persons, and suspicious vehicles, leads him to believe that Point Plaza is a hotbed for drugs and prostitution.

“When we looked at the maps we would always see the pocket of calls and incidents at or around (Point Plaza) and that is a problem,” Drew said in a Wednesday interview.

The family of a guest who stayed at Point Plaza for more than three months says that’s consistent with what he saw.

Tom Adams says his father-in-law “mentioned that there’s a lot of narcotics activity, that there’s cop cars there almost every single night.”

Back in July, Codes and Compliance Inspectors cited problems with pool maintenance, electric issues, exterior and interior maintenance and other violations. After an extension to comply by September 21, the city shut down Point Plaza.

Adams says his father-in-law got very little notice when he had to move out as a result of the city shutting down Point Plaza. Vaishnav disagrees, and says his staff called each guest individually five days beforehand.

City inspectors came back to the hotel Wednesday, and Point Plaza did not pass its latest inspection.
While we were there, representatives from the Commissioner of Revenue’s office also visited, but would not say why they were there.

Drew says it’s not his intention to shut down the hotel permanently, and hopes that he can work with the owner to reduce crime. The police department has to approve a plan to cut the number of police calls, and the owner must come into compliance on the code violations, before Point Plaza can re-open.

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