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COMMUNITY NEWS: SOUTH

SOUTH-CENTRAL : Motels Face Slum, Prostitution Charges

January 09, 1994|E.J. GONG JR. and SANDRA HERNANDEZ

The Los Angeles city attorney's office has filed two lawsuits against the owners of South-Central motels, one citing criminal slum charges and the other citing prostitution-related complaints.

The Gates Motel at 7814 S. Figueroa St. was cited last month. The lawsuit alleges that police had been called more than 20 times since January, 1992, to investigate prostitution complaints. Several prostitutes interviewed by police reportedly said they rented rooms at the 12-unit Gates Motel for $7 an hour.

Charges were filed under a red-light abatement lawsuit against Dilipkumar Patel, Hemlata Patel, Paramjit Kullar and Bimbo Kaur, the owners of the Gates Motel, according to Ed Fimbres, the deputy city attorney in charge of the case. Efforts to reach the owners were unsuccessful.

Fimbres said the owners have contacted the city attorney and "have been agreeable to a stipulated injunction," which would set operating restrictions at the motel and require improved lighting.

Also last month, the city attorney filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Brownstone Hotel at 425-427 East 5th St., alleging criminal slum conditions. The suit stems from investigations by the Slum Housing Task Force that reportedly found rodent and cockroach infestations, security bars without quick-release devices, and cracked and peeling paint at the 59-unit hotel.

"You're looking at something that is basically a trap," said Lawrence P. V. Punter, the deputy city attorney handling the case. "When you have bars without quick-release devices . . . people can't get out."

Named in the criminal complaint are owners Sumruey Aueyong and Sukumarn Sue Aueyong of Arcadia, according to the city attorney. A notice of probation violation also has been filed against Sumruey Aueyong, who was convicted of similar slum violations at the hotel in 1992, according to the city attorney's office.

Sumruey Aueyong said he was unaware of the probation violation and said problems at the hotel were being corrected. "We have taken care of it," he said. "Time is so short to take care of all of it, but we are taking care of it. We already called the fire inspector."

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