Dover police putting a renewed focus on hotel/motel crime issues

DOVER — Two arrests were made after an alleged robbery at the Dover Inn Thursday, while a separate criminal case involving a city hotel moved to the Kent County Court of Common Pleas the previous day.

According to Dover Police Department, Xavier Spady, 25, and Amanda Harris, 23, were apprehended shortly after allegedly entering a Dover Inn room at 428 N. DuPont Highway forcefully and robbing a 32-year-old female of an undisclosed amount of cash.

Xavier Spady

Xavier Spady

During the alleged incident on Thursday, according to police, Mr. Spady put his hands around the female’s throat, cutting off her breath.

Responding officers investigated the 2:59 p.m. incident, authorities said, and learned that suspects may have entered the Kohl’s department store. Mr. Spady and Ms. Harris were taken into custody without incident there shortly afterward, police said.

Mr. Spady was found in possession of five grams of marijuana, police alleged.

Charges against Mr. Spady, listed as homeless, included second-degree robbery and conspiracy, strangulation, and possession of marijuana. He was held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on $6,000 secured bond.

Amanda Harris

Amanda Harris

Ms. Harris, of the 400 block of North DuPont Highway in Dover, was charged with second-degree robbery and conspiracy, and held at Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in New Castle on $3,500 secured bond.

On Friday, Dover Police said it intermittently addresses crime issues at various lodging sites in the city.

“It varies, but we often see illegal activity at local budget hotels/motels, but it is not uncommon to see it occur in other hotels as well,” spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

Speaking generally, Cpl. Hoffman said, “The anonymity of staying at a hotel makes it attractive for illegal activity to take place.

“The person or persons conducting illegal activity can pack up and leave anytime and the rates at several of the hotels being used are cheap enough to attract those persons.”

Case in March

On Tuesday, according to court records, Thomas J. Gordon, 28, of the 100 block of East Sclock Street in Felton, was charged in connection with a March 22 arrest at the Best Western at 1700 E. Lebanon Road.

According to a probable cause affidavit, police said Mr. Gordon initially was contacted during a probation and parole administrative search at the hotel he was staying, which led to the alleged discovery of drugs and a handgun and magazine containing 10 rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammunition.

Thomas J. Gordon

Thomas J. Gordon

As Mr. Gordon exited his room, police said, he was taken into custody without incident before search warrants of the room and a vehicle followed.

Authorities alleged in papers that Mr. Gordon was in possession of $1,506 in currency in his right front pants pocket, along with a rolled up marijuana cigar and bag of marijuana weighing 4.42 grams.

Mr. Gordon’s identification card, keys to a Chrysler 300 and cellphone were found on a table in the room, police said.

“On the bed (officers) located a taped newspaper which appeared (based on my experience) to be used to wrap logs of heroin,” police said in an affidavit.

As the keys were grabbed, police said in papers, “Gordon became very upset and agitated screaming that they had no right to search the car.

“They placed Gordon onto the ground because he kept trying to thrown (sic) himself up against the wall and was screaming the police were beating him.”

Police alleged that Mr. Gordon began spitting on them, prompting the placement of a mask on him. Eventually, authorities said, Mr. Gordon kicked two law enforcement officers.

Upon opening a vehicle door, police said, an officer “observed the handle of a handgun sticking out from behind the dash on the passenger side …” The search stopped, according to authorities, and a search warrant was obtained through Justice of the Peace Court 2.

The vehicle was towed from the parking lot, police said, and Mr. Gordon was transported to Delaware State Police Troop 3.

A Delaware Justice Information System check found that Mr. Gordon previously had been convicted of five violent felonies in New Castle County, barring him from possessing firearms and/or ammunition and bringing two felony charges, police said.

The handgun located was found to be reported stolen in Pennsylvania on Aug. 4, 2015, police said. A felony receiving a stolen firearm charge against Mr. Gordon resulted.

Misdemeanor charges included two counts of offensive touching of a law enforcement officer, and a possession of drug paraphernalia charge.

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