DAYTON — Several buildings in downtown Dayton sustained damage as protesters moved through the city Saturday. Two planned protests on Saturday were mostly peaceful, officials say, but what happened afterward wasn’t. After the enforced 9 p.m. curfew was put in place Saturday night, many buildings and businesses were left with shattered windows and other signs of vandalism.
In the hours since the crowds had left the downtown area several local businesses were left to grapple with the aftermath.
Lily’s Bistro on East Fifth Street had a brick thrown through a window causing the eatery to close for the day. In a post to their Facebook page, owner Emily Mendenhall expressed sympathy for the protesters. “Tonight we had a window smashed out, and we don’t blame protesters. We hate that black and brown folks are fighting for their right to exist,” she said in the post.
However, she also expressed anger towards the armed men who were described as having assault rifles and using nazi gestures who threw the brick through the restaurant’s window. “We closed, despite it being a beautiful day where we were following best practices to keep staff and customers safe because we couldn’t ask our staff to work when that was happening. Those guys scared us all,” she said.
Currently, the restaurant is raising money to help with the cost of the repair and will be split between staff and bail funds for protesters.
Another downtown location sustained damage from the day’s protest. Dayton LIVE’s Victoria Theatre also endured rocks and bricks thrown through the glass doors and other damages. Dayton LIVE also took to Facebook saying " There has been significant damage. But the theatre is tough."
Dayton LIVE is also raising money to fund repairs.
Other businesses endured even more of the tensions of the day such as MJ’s on Jefferson on North Jefferson Street. The popular club saw damage from rocks and damages to a door and multiple windows from police teams responding to the call of a shooter inside the building. Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said there was a call of a shooter firing shots outside MJ’s, then going inside the club. He says that was why officers tried to get in. He says officers could not find evidence that shots had been fired.
Cheif Biehl reported Sinclair Community College sustained damage as well; windows were broken and the building was vandalized and gratified.
What appears to be an incendiary device that didn’t go off was also recovered.
Other places in the downtown area that saw damage were the Dayton-Area Chamber Commerce and Port authority building at the corner of Third and Main streets. Photos from our News Center 7 team shows the shattered glass windows of the building.
Cruisers too, were damaged but police say they still haven’t identified all damaged buildings and businesses.
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