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GPD: Gallup Inn vandalized

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Discarded fire extinguishers leads cops to crime scene

Going the extra mile in the line of duty led a Gallup police officer to file a breaking and entering and criminal damage to property report connected to a shuttered hotel along West Historic Highway 66.

According to the report, Officer Ryan Blackgoat of the Gallup Police Department responded to a call on March 7 about a pair of strewn fire extinguishers at Western Skies Mobile Home Park. Upon talking with a maintenance employee at the mobile home property, Blackgoat concluded that the extinguishers belonged to the Gallup Inn, which sits directly north of Western Skies.

“I checked the business of the Gallup Inn and discovered that there had been foot traffic through an opening on the east side of the property fence line,” Blackgoat wrote in the police report.

Blackgoat wrote that as he and at least one other officer approached the Gallup Inn, it was observed that an open glass door was being held open by a can of spray paint. At that instance, Blackgoat reported, there was visible property damage, graffiti and broken items.

“Several rooms were used by persons as beds were used and consumable goods and waste was inside,” Blackgoat wrote. He noted in the police report that trash was strewn in the hallways of the hotel and some ceiling material had fallen.

“Fire extinguishers were used inside as a white powdery substance covered the floors,” Blackgoat stated.

Blackgoat also noted that the city’s code enforcement department was notified of the condition of the two-story structure. Gallup Planner C.B. Strain, whose department handles code enforcement, could work with the hotel’s owners to shore up security methods and to avoid code violations.

The location of the Gallup Inn, which is near several restaurants, gas stations and other hotels and motels, was once a bustling Holiday Inn and a Howard Johnson’s. The building itself is one of Gallup biggest lodging establishments, per se, with conference and meeting rooms, but has been closed and fenced off for about two years.

By Bernie Dotson
Sun Correspondent