How common is crime at the Motorama, a two-story motel on the corner of Eight Mile and Woodward in Ferndale? This question comes up from time to time, especially when the public hears about the most serious of cases, including a heroin-related death earlier this year.
On April 20, 2015 a man bought heroin from someone staying at the Motorama, and ended up dying on a front lawn on Fielding Street. The death led to an investigation uncovering a major drug operation throughout the metro Detroit area, including drug sales at the Motorama. In November 25-year-old Shanna Nicole Santori of Detroit was captured in another state and subsequently charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing death.
Neighbors suspected that this was not an isolated incident.
This year’s police reports back that perception up: According to police records there were 81 calls for service in 2013, including 17 incidents that required police reports. Among those calls for service were four death investigations labeled “cause unknown” and one drug overdose. Many of the calls are simply “customer trouble,” or no reason given at all.
In 2014, there were 87 calls for service and 15 police reports. The numbers for 2015 are still coming in, but police furnished 79 reports for the first 327 days of the year.
The stack of police reports, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, give insight into some of what happens in and around the motel.
The following summaries are taken from initial police reports, and rely solely on the officers’ documentation of what they found and statements given at the scene. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty, and further research would be needed to determine the outcome of each incident.
A list of incidents from 2013 and 2014 have been included in previous articles.
According to the reports, the following took place in 2015:
On Jan. 2, 2015, police investigated a “family trouble” complaint in which a couple was arguing over a child. One of the individuals involved had a felony warrant out of Marion County, Ohio. Ferndale Police advised Marion County of the person’s location but did not take anyone into custody.
On Jan. 3, 2015, police were called to Room 114 because a tenant was refusing to check out. The woman refused to give police identification. She left the room without further incident.
On Jan. 9, 2015, police responded to a suspicious circumstance call that resulted in a prisoner transport. No further details were given.
On Jan. 18, 2015, police were called by a resident because an unknown person was knocking on their door. The person said they had the wrong door.
On Jan. 21, 2015, a man staying in Room 208 with a male friend called to report an assault and theft. The victim had a cut lower lip and a cut on the bridge of his nose. He reported that his friend had assaulted him and stolen his phone and iPad. Police searched the area with no luck, but on May 2, 2015, the suspect was arrested in Redford and transferred to Ferndale Police custody.
On Jan. 27, 2015, a man came to the Ferndale Police station to report stolen property. The man had been staying in Room 201 and had invited a friend to the room. The man fell asleep. When he awoke, he found the friend gone, along with his cell phone and charger.
On Jan. 29, 2015, Ferndale Police came to Room 103 in response to family trouble. The report stated that there was a verbal argument between a boyfriend and girlfriend who were staying in the room together. The report states that both were “high on prescription pills.” No arrests were made.
On Jan. 29, 2015, a resident of Motorama came to the Ferndale Police station to report that an acquaintance had been stealing his Social Security income since 2012. The man stated that the suspect had loaned him $300 or $400 and to pay it back he had given the suspect the Chase debit card for the account where the Social Security money had been going. The man said more than $42,000 had been taken from the account since 2012. The man said he feared the suspect would try to kill him. With assistance from another person, the man had been able to cancel the debit card and get a new one issued. It is unclear what follow-up may have been done.
On Jan. 29, 2015, police responded to a family trouble call involving a male and female verbally arguing. The argument was over “lack of sleep.” No arrests were made.
On Feb. 1, 2015, police assisted Ferndale Fire Rescue on a medical call to Room 130, where a woman was having chest pains and transported to Beaumont Hospital.
On Feb. 3, 2015, Ferndale Police came to Room 220 to investigate a possible domestic violence complaint. Officers determined that no assault had occurred. The woman was outside of the room with bags of personal belongings. Police said she seemed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was not cooperative. She said she had rented the room but that the man would not let her in. The woman had a personal protection order against the man because of an unresolved domestic violence case in Detroit between the two of them. The man told police that he rented the room himself and that she came uninvited. He refused to let her in because that would be a violation of the PPO.
On Feb. 6, 2015, police assisted Ferndale Fire Rescue on a medical call with no room number or further details given.
On Feb. 8, 2015, police came to Room 103 because a woman called stating that her son had threatened her. The threat happened at a Detroit casino and the woman was advised to contact Detroit Police.
On Feb. 13, 2015, police received a call about a theft, but when they arrived they were unable to locate any victim.
On Feb. 18, 2015, a guest in Room 213 reported having taken a bottle and a half of Seruquel in an attempt to end his life. He was transported by Ferndale Fire Rescue to the hospital.
On Feb. 19, 2015, Ferndale Police assisted Ferndale Fire Rescue on a medical call to Room 129 involving a woman with stomach pains.
On Feb. 20, 2015, Ferndale Police responded to a drug overdose in Room 103. The man involved was transported to the hospital by Starr Transport.
On Feb. 21, 2015, Ferndale Police responded to a drug overdose in Room 103. The man is the same man from the Feb. 20 report. Police had to force the bathroom door open to reach the man, who was passed out on the toilet with an uncapped syringe on the floor by his hand and a bag with a spoon, syringes and other paraphernalia next to it. Ferndale Fire Rescue gave the man Narcan and revived him. He was transported to the hospital and evidence was collected, including “uncapped syringe with liquid, two syringes, small glass tube with residue (used to smoke crack cocaine), paper fold (used to transport drugs), cigarette filter (used to filter the heroin), spoon with residue (used to “cook” the heroin), wooden stick (used to clean “crack pipe,” and Q-tip”
On Feb. 26, 2015, a man reported his moped stolen. The moped was found elsewhere in the parking lot with damage to it. After watching video of the lot officers determined who had attempted to move or take the moped. They determined the vehicle the suspects were driving, and pulled someone over in that vehicle as they were leaving the lot. That driver said he was coming from Room 211 where a second suspect was found and arrested.
On Feb. 28, 2015, police were called because of a suspicious circumstance. Officers said the woman from Room 104 was “highly intoxicated,” and that they “sent [her] back into her room.”
On Feb.28, 2015, police were called to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue. The man said his hands were cold but he declined medical treatment. Police gave him a ride to Dunkin Donuts.
On March 4, 2015, police were called to Room 103 for a reported assault and battery, but determined that there was no assault and that it was a mental health issue.
On March 9, 2015, police were called to Room 119 for suspicious circumstances. No arrests were made.
On March 11, 2015, a report was made about the March 2, 2015 arrest of a man staying at the Motorama who was arrested on a warrant on “children accosting for immoral purposes.” The arrest was made with the help of Oakland Narcotics Enforcement Team.
On March 13, 2015, police responded to Room 124 to a call from someone stating that there was drug activity and that a possible assault may have occurred. When police arrived they found a woman who said she had been smoking crack through the night with a man. The man became angry when there was no more crack and they had a verbal argument before the man left. Police found that the woman had a warrant out for her arrest on a prostitution charge in Warren and she was arrested.
On March 27, 2015, there was a call for trouble with a customer. No arrests were made.
On April 1, 2015, police were called to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue with a caller who said he had food poisoning from eating Goldfish crackers.
On April 4, 2015, police were called to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue in Room 123 with a medical situation.
On April 10, 2015, police responded to a request from a caller in Room 124 who wanted shelter information.
On April 10, 2015, Ferndale Police assisted someone with a vehicle lockout.
On April 18, 2015, Ferndale Police responded to Room 204 to a situation of family trouble. The caller said she had a fight with her girlfriend over another woman, and the caller wanted her girlfriend out of the room. No arrests were made.
On May 7, 2015, Ferndale Police were called about a suspicious person who they later deemed to be a vagrant. The man was given a ride to Eight Mile and John R by the officer.
On May 7, 2015, a man who had been sitting by the front door of Motorama flagged down police. The man reported that he had met a woman two weeks prior at Tigris Restaurant in Detroit. He met the woman again at the same restaurant, then rented a Room 108 at the Motorama with her. When he woke up the woman was gone along with the vehicle (registered in his wife’s name) and his cell phone. The police attempted to find the woman and put the vehicle in the LEIN system as stolen. On May 17, the vehicle was found with the suspect driving it in Detroit. The suspect was in the LEIN system as a missing person (endangered), and her criminal record had a history of petty theft and narcotics use.
On May 9, 2015, a woman reported that she had escaped from a couple that was involved in prostitution. She had been doing prostitution with the couple willingly but said they stole the money, would not let her leave when she was ready to be done with it, and that the man punched her. She said she had been working with the couple for 10 days at various locations, and there were other women involved also. She said she had escaped from Room 216 while the couple was in the bathroom. Police found that the occupants of the room had checked out an hour prior to the call.
On May 9, 2015, police investigated an assault in Room 130 where a victim said her boyfriend threw a shoe and an ashtray at her and said he would slice her throat. The man was arrested.
On May 14, 2015, Ferndale Police were called because a customer was demanding a refund. Police advised her that it was a civil matter and sent her on her way.
On May 21, 2015, a Ferndale officer was called to assist a Michigan Department of Corrections Abscond Recovery Agent with an arrest.
On May 30, 2015, police were called to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue.
On June 3, 2015, police were called on a complaint of people on the second floor being loud and throwing fireworks into the parking lot. Police did not observe any violations but did advise a small group of people about fireworks.
On June 13, 2015, a man called to report a larceny. He had been a guest in Room 204. He told police he had spent the previous night consuming alcohol with several prostitutes and woke up in Room 210 and could not find his cigarettes or money that he believed had been taken from his wallet.
On June 13, 2015, two hours after the previous incident, occupants of Room 204 contacted police about a larceny involving car keys. One of the men staying in the room said he had set his keys on the dresser, but later the keys on the dresser were not the right keys. His vehicle was still there. While police were there, the motel manager decided the men were no longer welcome and asked the police to escort them off the property.
On June 28, 2015, officers responded to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue with a medical call involving a woman going into labor. The woman was transported to the hospital.
On July 1, 2015, a man reported that he had purchased a pair of shoes from someone staying at the Motorama. The shoes did not fit and he was attempting to return them when the man refused and punched him in the face. He told police he did not want to press charges, only to get his $40 back. Police advised him that it was a civil matter.
On July 2, 2015, police were called to Dunkin Donuts at 22451 Woodward Ave. for customer trouble. The man was staying at Motorama in Room 217. Police advised him he was trespassing and sent him on his way.
On July 2, 2015, police responded to a call about an unwanted guest. Upon arrival they found that the guests were OK and neither wanted the other to leave. The room number was not given in the report.
On July 17, 2015, police were called for customer trouble. The manager said a woman wanted a room for $20 for the night and he refused. The woman had refused to leave.
On July 19, 2015, a man was arrested with a crack pipe and chore boy. He also had a lawn mower and a bicycle. It did not appear that those items had been stolen. The man was on parole for home invasion and larceny from a building. Police arrested the man and transported the lawnmower and bike to his residence. Later a man came to the station to report a stolen bicycle that matched the description. Officers went to the suspect’s home to retrieve the bicycle. They confirmed that it was his bicycle because he had the key that matched the lock that was on it.
On July 28, 2015, Ferndale Police were flagged down and assisted a citizen who was locked out of their vehicle.
On Aug. 2, 2015, officers responded to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue with a medical call involving a man who had pain in this foot.
On Aug. 5, 2015, a man staying in Room 100 with another man woke up to find $550 missing and his guest gone. The man said he knew the other man for several years.
On Aug. 12, 2015, a man in Room 123 was arrested for assault. When police arrived they could hear screaming in the room. They made contact with the man, the woman, and her child. The woman said she and the man had been arguing and when she sat down he began to strangle her. Her son grabbed a pair of scissors, and grabbed onto the man, but the man grabbed the son’s arm and knee-kicked the scissors free. The man told police he had his hands around the woman’s neck, but that he was “just playing.”
On Aug. 27, 2015, a woman who had been doing prostitution in Room 204 said she heard a knock on her door. She had been expecting a friend so she opened the door without checking. Two men forced their way into the room. One of the men had a rifle. She wrestled the rifle away as the two spilled out into the stairwell. She lost her balance and fell down the stairs, giving the men enough time to run into the room to grab her purse and flee. The gun was collected for evidence.
On Aug. 29, 2015, police arrived to find a woman in Room 227 passed out on the bed from a suspected heroin overdose. Ferndale Fire Rescue administered Narcan and the woman regained consciousness. She was transported to the hospital and evidence of drug use was collected. Testing later revealed that the substance was not heroin but fentanyl.
On Sept. 1, 2015, police were called to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital to investigate a drug overdose. The same woman from the Aug. 29 overdose had been driven to the hospital by her sister. The sister said she’d gone to the Motorama to pick her up for an appointment and that she passed out in the car. The woman was revived at the hospital when doctors administered Narcan. She told police she had overdosed on $10 worth of heroin and two 10-milligram Xanax pills.
On Sept. 8, 2015, police received a call from Room 220 stating there had been a domestic violence situation. When police arrived, the caller had left. Upon call back, the caller refused to make a report.
On Sept. 10, 2015 police got a call about an unwanted person in Room 226. Officers learned that a guest in Room 230 had been knocking on the door, but was gone by the time police arrived. The caller became uncooperative, went back in their room, and refused to talk to police.
On Sept. 11, 2015, police responded to a call about a possible domestic violence situation. Police spoke to a woman whose boyfriend had left before their arrival. The woman said he kept waking her up when she was trying to sleep, and that she just wanted him to leave.
On Sept. 16, 2015, there was a verbal argument in Room 126 between a boyfriend and girlfriend. The boyfriend left before police arrived.
On Sept. 18, 2015, police were called to a medical situation involving private ambulance transport.
On Sept. 24, 2015, police responded to a customer trouble call. The manager of the Motorama had cut up the debit card of a guest who had been in Room 227, due to nonpayment on a room key deposit. Police told then that the dispute was a civil matter.
On Sept. 25, 2015, police were called for customer trouble, with their report stating only “tenant agreed to move out of apartment.”
On Sept. 27, 2015, an unwanted guest was advised on a civil issue with Motorama.
On Oct. 2, 2015, police came to Room 123 on a report of a 17-year-old who did not return home from school. The youth was located via phone at band practice.
On Oct. 11, 2015, a guest in Room 221 reported having been approached aggressively by a guest in Room 109. The woman in 109 accused the woman in 221 of stealing her watermelon and threatened to shoot her. Police determined there was no weapon in Room 221 and advised the guests to stay away from each other.
On Oct. 14, 2015, someone in Room 226 called to report they heard screaming and things being thrown around in another room. Police arrived and were unable to hear anything disturbance and did not find any other residents who heard the noises.
On Oct. 15, 2015, police responded to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue.
On Oct. 18, 2015, police responded to assist Ferndale Fire Rescue on an unknown medical transport.
On Oct. 19, 2015, police were called to the Motorama because a woman was kicking out the window of Room 121. The woman and her boyfriend had been staying there and gotten into a fight over money. The woman had gotten upset and had been throwing objects and food around the room, and hitting him in the face and head. He locked her out of the room, but said that she kicked the door open while he was inside calling police. The woman was arrested for domestic assault and malicious destruction of property.
On Oct. 21, 2015, officers were called to a verbal argument in the parking lot. The guest in Room 230 reported that she had an unwanted guest, but that he was gone before police arrived.
On Oct. 21, 2015, officers were called to a complaint of women yelling and dancing at the rear of the Motorama. Police found no evidence of that upon their arrival.
On Oct. 21, 2015, officers assisted a citizen who was locked out his vehicle.
On Oct. 24, 2015, an officer responded to a complaint of a stranger coming to a guest’s room. The man was in the lobby complaining that the hotel staff had given out his information. The staff said they had not. Police advised the guest it was probably just a random occurrence.
On Oct. 31, 2015, officers were called over a disagreement between a guest and staff over a deposit. The matter was resolved without officer intervention.
On Nov. 5, 2015, officers were called to assist Narcotics Enforcement Team officers with two arrests and the execution of a search warrant for Room 130. The suspects are known to sit at Eight Mile and Woodward and beg for money. Police located them in the area and witnessed heroin changing hands. One suspect ran and threw a baggie of suspected narcotics over the wall and into the parking lot of the Motorama, and continued running down West Bennett Street. The finding of NET are not included in the report.
On Nov. 8, 2015, police were called to Motorama to assist with a despondent male who wanted to go to Botsford Hospital because he had not taken his bipolar medication and he wanted to hurt himself. He was transported to the hospital by Superior Ambulance.
On Nov. 11, 2015, a man was found dead in Room 110 of unknown causes. Police found a baggie with an unknown substance, a silver cylinder containing an unknown white power, and four empty beer cans. Starr reported that a woman had been with the man, but she was not in the room when the body was discovered. Staff reported that security cameras were not working at the time.
On Nov. 18, 2015, police were called due to suspicious circumstances. A male was outside of a room and a woman was inside. They told police that they had a verbal argument because the male would not buy marijuana for the female. The male left the room but tried to go back in to get the sim card for his phone. The card was retrieved and the male left.
On Nov. 21, 2015, police responded to assist with a medical transport call.
On Nov. 23, 2015, a man called the police because he’d found his wife passed out in the bathroom of Room 227 due to a heroin overdose. The woman was unconscious when police arrived, but after a few minutes she woke up on her own. The woman was transported to the hospital.
These summaries are based on the police reports taken at the time. Reports from 2013 were chronicled in a previous story
. Reports from 2014 were also chronicled in a previous story
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Crystal A. Proxmire is the Editor and Publisher of The Oakland County 115 News, at www.oc115.com.