By TODD GLASSCOCK
The Baker Hotel gets a great deal of attention these days, some of it unwanted.
Just this past weekend police issued citations to seven people for violating a city ordinance for occupying an unsafe structure, said Police Chief Dean Sullivan. Two of those seven also received citations for criminal mischief after allegedly prying a hole in a verandah door to gain entry into the building.
The seven were caught early Saturday morning when someone called police about seeing people scaling the wall around the building, he said. When police first searched the building around 1:30 a.m. for the trespassers, they found five of them near a fenced-in area. On a follow-up check around 5 a.m., officers found two more trespassers.
On Friday, police also mailed a citation to photographer Susan Marinello, a student at Texas Tech University, for occupying a dangerous structure, a Class C misdemeanor for which she can be fined up to $500, said Sgt. Brian Boetz, with criminal investigations.
“We received an anonymous tip with a photo of Susan inside the Baker,” he said. Police followed a link from the tip to several of Marinello’s social media sites, including photos on Twitter that laid out a chronology that fit a call out to the Baker that police answered on March 26.
“It was almost like a play-by-play,” he said.
Marinello, of Lubbock, said she meant no harm in going into the Baker to take photos. She takes photos of abandoned buildings as part of a personal project that she may turn into a book one day.
She said she didn’t break anything in the building on her visit in March, but did climb in through an already open window. She said she wasn’t surprised to receive a citation from the Mineral Wells police.