Inexpensive hotels clustered along busy highways can be a challenge for law enforcement. FILE PHOTO

Fatal shooting spotlights police issues with hotels along highway

A concentration of hotels near Interstate 75 continues to draw police scrutiny to the Ohio 725 corridor, the latest a fatal weekend shooting in Miami Twp.

Police said Monday they planned to seek charges against 35-year-old Mathew P. Glass of Beavercreek, being held on suspicion of reckless in the shooting death of a 32-year-old a Fairborn woman at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham.

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The shooting of Lynsie Davis reported early Sunday morning was at least the second at the 155 Prestige Place hotel this year. It followed a January shooting after a suspect rammed a pickup truck into R.A.N.G.E. Task Force officers, who returned fire and grazed another man.

At the weekend shooting, records show hypodermic needles, a semiautomatic pistol and nearly three dozen rounds of ammunition were included in the items police found at the hotel, among about 10 lodging sites in Miami Twp. or Miamisburg along I-75 near Ohio 725.

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The area, officials from both communities have said, tends to attract those involved in drugs. Police suspect two people found dead at the InTown Suites - where they lived for about two years - died in late May of a drug overdose.

While Miami Twp. police declined Monday to talk about the challenge the area poses law enforcement, a Miamisburg official said the issue “wouldn’t be something unique” to those two jurisdictions.

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“When you have hotels where you have low weekly or low overnight rates, they seem to be more susceptible to people using those hotels to either traffic in narcotics or get away and have a cheap place to stay away from their home,” said Miamisburg Assistant City Manager Tom Thompson, a former police captain in the city. “Or, if they on the road, a cheap place to stay so they can do narcotics,” he added.

“That would be anywhere in the country that you drive,” he added. “You get off the highway and you have hotels that are like (they are) in the Dayton Mall area or (north of) Dayton or anywhere that have the low weekly rates or the low nightly rates.”

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Miami Twp. Det. Paul Nienhaus said Monday he planned to meet with prosecutors in what officials said was the 12th fatality at lodging sites in that area of the township since the start of 2016.

In the past 18 months, activity at hotels in that area have also spurred 896 calls to police and 137 reports of crime, 18 of which were related to illegal drugs, according to an email from township police Capt. John Magill.

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“I would hesitate in drawing conclusions from these numbers,” Magill said via email. “Most of the fatalities are drug overdoses. At least one is a suicide by hanging. There were deaths by natural causes also. An overdose may be a fatality and drug-related.”

Davis died after being shot by “accident,” a 911 called told dispatchers shortly before 1 a.m. The call said a man was showing a gun to a woman when it went off inside the hotel room.

“A friend was showing it to her … I don’t know what happened … it was an accident,” she said.

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Davis was pronounced dead at Kettering Medical Center. Glass was booked in the Montgomery County Jail about 4 a.m. and remained in custody late Monday afternoon, records show.

Police records indicate officers responded to room 124 at Hawthorn Suites about 12:50 a.m. Three witnesses – two women ages 43 and 23, and a 53-year-old man – are among the witnesses listed in police documents.

A Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol, 33 live rounds ammunition, five hypodermic needles, a black cloth case with a glass pipe and a rifle scope were among the items found by police, documents indicate.

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