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Tualatin hot spot for illegal activity to be leveled

Police made 25 arrests at the Bridgeport Value Inn in the last year
by: Jaime Valdez, ONE LAST STAND – On the last day of business at the Bridgeport Value Inn in Tualatin, police made their final arrest at the inn, referred to as a hot spot for illegal activity.

TUALATIN - Usually arrests don't bring much in the way of closures. But Sunday, Tualatin officers were able to witness first hand the ending of a very problematic tale.

Sunday as officers led Ryan Pitcher, 30, of Tigard, away from his room at the Bridgeport Value Inn, workers at the hotel began to dismantle pieces of the inn.

'Within the hour they were taking things out of the room (that Pitcher was staying in),' noted Capt. Jeff Groth, the public information officer for the Tualatin Police Department.

On Sunday, the Bridgeport Value Inn on Lower Boones Ferry Road closed.

But police officer's reactions to the closure were more of elation than of sentimental nostalgia for the 34-year-old inn. In the last year, police made 25 arrests at the inn that included intoxication calls, recovered stolen vehicles, warrants, assaults, criminal mischief and drugs.

'It's going to be a significant thing not having that place there anymore,' Groth said. 'A place like that demanded a lot of police resources.'

Sunday police arrested Pitcher and Michael Palaia, 43, on outstanding warrants. Police had received an anonymous tip about Pitcher staying at the inn. And with a bit of irony thrown in the mix, Tualatin police confirmed that they had arrested Pitcher on a warrant Dec. 3 while he was staying at the Bridgeport Value Inn.

Groth described the hotel as a hot bed for illegal activity, something that the management there did little to stop, Groth added.

A message asking for comments from the inn owner Garesh Sonpatte, was not returned.

Groth recalled having an anonymous tip about an underage party at the inn. After officers responded first to the front desk to confirm a room number, police came back later to find the party had dispersed after being tipped off about the police presence. Officers were told the following day that the front desk clerk had been the one to tip off the bust to the underage kids.

'(Inn employees) were not only not proactive about stopping illegal behavior but they took counterproductive measures,' Groth said.

According to Steve Johnson, president of Vips Industries Inc. that owns the Bridgeport Value Inn property, plans are underway to completely redevelop the land.