Villa Town Motel shut down by Lubbock County court order

Updated: Apr. 10, 2017 at 10:49 PM CDT
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Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD
Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD
Letter provided by Villa Town management (Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD)
Letter provided by Villa Town management (Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Villa Town Motel at 5401 Avenue Q South Dr. is being shut down and residents are being evacuated after an order from a Lubbock County court.

We're told that the State of Texas filed the paperwork on Monday. The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office served the order late Monday afternoon.

The statement provided by Villa Town says they have no information regarding refunds as of Monday night.

The petition from the State of Texas lays out a long list of allegations:

"Defendants own, maintain, and operate The Villa Town Motel/Inn, which is a common nuisance, notorious for harboring habitual criminal activity, including prostitution, promotion of prostitution, aggravated assault, aggravated robberies, narcotics possession, narcotics distribution, human trafficking, and illegal drug offenses – in violation of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.  Defendants knowingly tolerate, and have failed to make reasonable efforts to abate, the criminal activities at The Villa Town Motel/Inn, and instead have enjoyed a steady stream of income from renting rooms to those who conduct these illegal activities on the premises."

The order says Lubbock police have made 165 arrests and responded to 1,516 calls at the Villa Town Motel since January 1, 2015, including life emergency calls such as fight in progress, shots fired, aggravated assaults, disturbances, stabbings, and delivery of controlled substances.

The court documents list some of the most frequent calls:

23 Fights in Progress
426 Disturbances
222 Domestic Disturbances
4 Dead Bodies
18 Burglaries
32 Thefts
28 Auto Thefts
214 Check Subjects/Area
5 Runaways
8 Narcotics
44 Suicide Possible Or Other Injuries
30 Assist EMS
90 Subject Stops
8 Medical Calls
8 Impound Calls

The petition also lists a large number of code violations, including damaged interior and exterior walls, stairs and walking surfaces damaged, missing or not maintained, damaged plumbing systems, multiple plumbing leaks, and electrical equipment not installed or maintained in safe manner.

Residents are left wondering where to turn now, while the letter they received recommended Salvation Army or Paul's Project.

"They gave us this. We're supposed to get out immediately, but nobody gots nowhere to go," resident Ray Rodrigues said. "Right now everyone's going, worrying about where they are going, because nobody knows, you know?"

Most residents tell us they have paid their full month's rent and want to be refunded, like Rita Narbaez, who paid her son's rent.

"I'm good until May 3rd. So if he has to get out by tonight or tomorrow at least please give me back my money," Narbaez said.

Narbaez says she spoke with the manager, Paul Hewitt, who did not want to interview with KCBD.

"He's the middle man, he doesn't care. It's all up to the owner and the owner is in California. So I said, so is he coming? Have you called him? 'Well he just got out of the hospital and you know, he can't.' And I understand that but still, he needs to. Still, ok start paying people back their money," Narbaez said. "If they gotta go, they gotta go. But start paying people back their money. And I'm sure he's got money because he sure isn't wasting money on this place."

A temporary restraining order is in effect until the case can be heard in the 237th District Court on April 21.

PDF: State of Texas petition vs. Villa Town Motel

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