Jan. 12, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The nighttime supervisor at a notorious Kew Gardens hotel was arrested Monday for allegedly allowing criminal activity to go on inside the hotel and outside its front door on multiple occasions.
The Umbrella Hotel employee, Gulshan Gandhi, was collared on two counts of criminal nuisance charges, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Tuesday.
Gandhi, 68, worked the front desk on three separate nights when shootings occurred outside the Queens Boulevard hotel. The most recent incident, a triple shooting on New Year’s Day, killed a 20-year-old man and injured two others.
The Kew Gardens resident allegedly allowed numerous gatherings of hotel guests, despite the shootings and health risks during the pandemic, Katz said.
“The defendant allegedly – and repeatedly – allowed unsafe gatherings on the premises of the hotel, even after a shooting left bullet holes in its front door,” she said. “This hotel has been a danger to the community.”
Gandhi regularly worked the 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. shift and was on the job on July 3, Aug. 9 and Jan. 1 when the shootings outside the Umbrella Hotel happened.
He received a desk appearance ticket and is due in court at a later date, Katz said.
Management closed down the Umbrella Hotel until further notice on Friday following the fatal shooting and public outcry.
Local residents and elected officials have been pushing City Hall to close the hotel since the summer.
In addition to the shootings, the Umbrella Hotel has been the location of several violent crimes including rape, sex trafficking, assault and drug deals, Katz said.
Local Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal had led the call to close down the Umbrella Hotel since August. While he applauded the closure of the hotel, he said he wants City Hall to step in to ensure the closure is permanent.
“While the hotel has chosen to close its doors, we must continue to urge City action to make this a permanent decision,” he said in a statement to the Queens Post Monday. “The city should have mechanisms in place to address similar situations in the future before tragedy forces action.”