Child found dead while living at OYO hotel, city leaders toughen sentences at motels

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Baton Rouge police are investigating the death of a two-year-old child at the OYO Hotel Sunday night.

It’s the latest of many reported problems at the motel, a place known as a crime hotspot, including homicides and overdose deaths.

East Baton Rouge Metro Councilwoman Laurie Adams said not enough is being done to address the problem.

“I’m very worried,” Adams said. “It keeps you from sleeping well at night.”

In 2018, the Metro Council passed an order creating penalties for hotels and motels facing multiple enforcement complaints. But this has not yet been applied.

“It’s a good order, but a lot of the structure that needed to be in place to make the order effective was not put in place,” Adams said.

The arrangement states that a hotel/motel license may be suspended or revoked if it meets any of these three marks:

  • Three (3) or more independent drug-related incidents resulting in arrests when the offense occurred on hotel/motel property by a guest within a ninety (90) day period, except when the arrest is the result of notification to and/or direct cooperation with law enforcement by hotel/motel management;
  • Three (3) or more independent prostitution-related incidents resulting in arrests when the offense occurred on hotel/motel property by a guest within a ninety (90) day period, except when the arrest is the result of notification to and/or direct cooperation with law enforcement by hotel/motel management;
  • Five (5) or more verified calls for service within a thirty (30) day period when the following activities occur on hotel/motel property: illegal drug-related criminal activity, prostitution, or violent crimes, except when the arrest is the result of notification to and/or direct cooperation with law enforcement by hotel/motel management.

BRProud has contacted the Baton Rouge Police Department to obtain daily call logs from the hotel and is still waiting to review this data. Adams said enforcement has been difficult.

“The way the laws are, they could literally go back the next day and apply for their license again,” she said.

Police are still investigating what happened to 2-year-old Kyland King. Arrest records indicate that Kyland was injured in a fall. An affidavit shows the child’s father told investigators that Kyland had fallen down a flight of stairs a few days prior and how on Sunday the child fell back when placed to eat before becoming unresponsive.

According to the BRPD, the child’s father, Anderson King, beat his son with a belt and then left him unconscious at the motel. Arrest records show Anderson has beaten Kyland to the belt for the past two weeks.

The East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office reports that this is the 22nd child homicide victim in 2022, 12 of whom are under the age of five.

OYO owner Raj Patel didn’t want to go on camera but said he added 24-hour security. Patel said he also wants to work with the city to address homelessness and house victims of domestic violence.

In April, City-Parish administrative manager Darryl Gissel said the hotel received 85 EMS calls last year, the most EMS calls in the parish.

Adams said it could be months before the current order is reworked.

“There are a lot of ideas on the table that we’ve been researching,” she said. “It’s on my priority list.”

Anderson is charged with one count of second degree cruelty to minors. BRPD officials said his charges are likely to be improved now that the coroner has ruled his son’s death a homicide.