The death of a 20-year-old man from Berkeley County has sparked a public outcry against a Martinsburg motel, that many say needs to take responsibility for this incident and many others.
This past weekend, activists protested outside of the Relax Inn on Winchester Avenue – and now, they are continuing their push to get what they call a “drug motel” shut down. On Thursday morning, several of them came before the Berkeley County Council to voice their concerns.
They said the Relax Inn has a long history of crime and drug abuse on its property, and that ownership turns a blind eye to it, allowing the illegal activity to happen. The most recent incident was the death of Ryun Teng, 20. Authorities are still waiting for autopsy results.
“When you have hundreds of calls to the same property over and over again, it’s a drain on taxpayer’s resources. It has to come to an end,” said Elizabeth Day, who lives on Winchester Avenue. “We know what the problem is – now, we need to work on what the solutions are.”
The Relax Inn lies just outside of the Martinsburg city lines. Because Martinsburg holds home rule powers, the city had the ability to enact the drug house ordinance. The county, though, would have to wait on state legislators to give it similar authority.