Sheriff wants to hold high-crime businesses accountable in Greenville Co.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Frequent calls to deputies for certain businesses are costing you money.

There have been fatal shootings at both Symposium Ultra Lounge and Super Lodge Inn and Suites within a week. However, both locations are no strangers to deputies. In fact, they’ve been the source of hundreds of calls to the sheriff’s office.

Nearby business owners say the businesses have been a problem for a while. At the Super Lodge, business owners say it’s not uncommon to see drug transactions and prostitution up and down the street.

Greenville Co. Sheriff Will Lewis says it’s time to do something.

He says since Symposium opened three years ago, his deputies have responded to 97 calls there. They’ve been mostly disturbances and assaults.

“When you add those numbers up, that takes deputies off the road for a combined 4 or 5 hours in a shift,” Sheriff Lewis said.

Just about a mile down the road, the sheriff says his deputies responded to Super Lodge 390 times last year.

“Drugs, prostitution, gang activities, assaults, stolen vehicles, stolen tags, shots fired calls, I mean you name it,” Sheriff Lewis said.

The sheriff says it’s probably costing upwards of $15,000 dollars that the community is not getting back.

“Are we paying for that with our taxpayer dollars, are they producing back to the community what they’re taking from it, absolutely not,” Sheriff Lewis said.

The sheriff says he’ll start assessing business licenses and registrations for both locations to start holding them accountable. He has the support of the community.

“Eight percent of the calls are done at about 20 percent of the locations, and that’s not acceptable, so we want to work with the Sheriff in any way that we can to reduce crime,” said Councilman Ennis Fant, Greenville County District 25 representative.

Management at the Super Lodge told 7News it’s not their job to monitor crime and they can’t judge people who want to rent rooms.

The sheriff says they’ve tried to work with the owners of the Super Lodge before but haven’t had much luck.

7News has not been able to reach the owners of Symposium Ultra Lounge yet.

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