LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The City Attorney's Office filed a nuisance abatement suit against a San Pedro hotel that has allegedly served as a longtime gang hangout and location where drugs are transacted, prompting nearby residents to live in fear.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Thursday targets the Palos Verdes Inn Hotel, a 35-unit building in the 1000 block of South Palos Verdes Street, an area that is also the location of many apartment buildings as well as an assortment of single-family homes, the complaint states.
The defendants are Tejasv Management LLC and its individual managers, defendants Chhaya Mandalia and Krishen Mandalia. A man who answered the phone at the hotel today told City News Service, “This is news to us,'' but declined comment on the suit.
Although the hotel has been a public nuisance for nearly two decades, gang- and drug-related crime there increased in recent months and between last September and this June, two people were shot in three separate shootings that occurred either inside or immediately adjacent to building, according to the suit.
“Defendants have ceded control of the (hotel) to local gang members and their associates, who use the property to engage in criminal conduct that terrorizes the surrounding community and puts them in great physical danger,'' the suit states.
The constant presence of gang members has also made the building a focus of the gang's rivals, the suit states.
“As a result of defendants' failure to observe best management practices at the property, the (hotel) is a dangerous public nuisance that has caused a strain on limited police resources,'' the suit states.
The lawsuit includes a color photo of a sidewalk in front of the building, allegedly documenting the gang's hold on the hotel.
In the last nine months, the LAPD has recovered two guns from inside the hotel and each weapon was obtained after dangerous foot chases inside the building, one in pursuit of an admitted gang member and the other of a suspected drug dealer, the suit states.
Members of the surrounding community live in fear due to the chronic crime and intimidating presence of gang members at the hotel and so the LAPD has increased its enforcement, the suit states.
“But crime persists at the property despite the LAPD's arrests, search warrants and extra patrols,' the suit states.
The LAPD has repeatedly obtained surveillance video footage from Chhaya Mandalia to assist with their investigations of crime at the hotel, making it certain the defendants know about the gang-related violent crime occurring at their property, the suit states.
However, the defendants have not taken sufficient steps to address the crime problems and the situation will not change unless they are forced to implement corrective measures, the suit states.
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