Motel in Delta turns scary on New Year's

__It wasn't exactly the Bates Motel, but it was almost as scary.
__The revelers were staying on the second floor at the rear of the Best Western in Clarksdale, Miss. Not long after dark on New Year's Eve, they were congregating outside their rooms on the walkway overlooking the parking lot.
__ There were at least a dozen men outside, and they were partying early. There was no telling how many more were still in their rooms, or how many women they had with them, or if they had any children with them, for that matter.
__ The men looked like they could have played updated versions of Norman Bates, the psychopath who ran the family motel in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho." Guests who had rooms nearby probably wished they had booked a room down the road. They decided to stay put, like the ill-
fated Janet Leigh in "Psycho."
__ There was no turning back now. They parked their cars some distance from where the partygoers were congregating. Seeing the wild bunch up above, the other guests bravely entered their rooms below, then went out to eat and celebrate New Year's Eve, all the while wondering about the guests on the second floor of the motel.
__ Returning to their rooms after midnight, the guests looked apprehensively toward the second floor, where the party had gotten much bigger and rowdier. As they say in police reports, you could smell the distinct odor of alcohol and worse. Broken beer bottles littered the parking lot, which was all the more reason to park as far away as possible. The revelers were getting louder as the night wore on. A bunch of them had gone downstairs and were shouting and cussing in front of the downstairs rooms.
__ Amid all the noise, somebody was screaming, "Where is she?" "Don't you call me that!" a woman shouted back after someone hurled an insult at her. It was now close to 3 a.m. The noise of breaking beer bottles could be heard when the revelers stopped screaming at each other momentarily. What if someone reached for a gun and started shooting and a stray bullet landed inside one of the rooms where guests were trying to get some sleep?
__ Someone called the front desk to suggest it was time to call out the police. The clerk at the front desk said she didn't want to get involved. "Call 911," she suggested. Fearing a bullet might land in his room, someone called 911 from a bathroom and told the operator that 50 people were screaming their heads off and things could turn violent at any second.
__ "They're shouting and things could turn violent?" the 911 operator asked because 911 operators always repeat what they're told. "Where is this again?" "At the back of the Best Western." "The Best Western?" "Yes." "We'll send someone out," the operator promised. A squad car must have driven up in about a minute, and the revelers were suddenly quiet. It seemed as if they had gone in their rooms as soon as they saw a squad car approaching.
__ It was quiet for a few more minutes, and then, after the police left, the shouting started again and went on until almost dawn, when the revelers must have passed out. They were gone after daylight. The parking spaces near the windows were littered with broken beer bottles. New Year's Day was quiet, and as the day wore on, new guests checked into the motel. Many of them were Pentecostal worshippers who were attending services that evening and next morning. The guests from the night before were relieved to see them.
__ They were quiet, didn't throw beer bottles and didn't threaten anyone.

--- Past Articles

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