'The cops are out here almost every day. It's a hell hole'

'The cops are out here almost every day. It's a hell hole'
Byron Baker, of Pendleton, Ore., looks at a notice deputies with the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office placed on the door of his room Thursday, April 11, 2013. at the Rodeo CIty Inn outside of Pendleton, Ore. (AP Photo/East Oregonian, E.J. Harris)

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Umatilla County officials say they've taken a step that could lead to shutting down what they describe as a crime-ridden motel-apartment complex west of Pendleton.

Deputies have stuck "Notice_Crime Property" declarations to the doors of the 52-room Rodeo City Inn just off Interstate 84, the East Oregonian reported.

The county can declare a place a crime property if any of 16 crimes occurs three or more times in 90 days. Among them are assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, theft and sexual abuse.

Unless the county commission and the owners come to an abatement agreement, the county could go to court to close it.

Resident Byron Baker pulled one of the notices off his door recently. He said he has lived at the inn for a month, hears frequent fights and screaming, and is hesitant to leave his room lest someone break in.

"The cops are out here almost every day," he said. "It's a hell hole."

According to Lt. Glen Diehl of the sheriff's office, officers come to the motel at a rate of nearly twice a week — 323 service calls from the beginning of 2010 through April 4.

"The board of commissioners has the option of proceeding to court," he said. "It can go to the point where the property is actually closed."

Manager Drew Osias, brother of owner Raymond Osias, said he works to evict the bad apples, those who cause trouble or fail to pay their rent. Despite the inn's rough reputation, Osias said, closing the place put more people on the streets.

"If they shut us down, they'll have a lot of people who have nowhere to go," he said.

Resident Shawna Rundle could be among them. She lives there with two young children and a mastiff and says poor repair goes along with the crime.

"It's disgusting — it's not a place to raise your kids," she said. "It needs to be shut down."

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press