BG community, city council to talk recent attack involving ethnic intimidation

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - It is an incident that people in Bowling Green are trying to come to terms with.

"Certainly it was unexpected by many of us in the community," said resident Beatriz Maya.

Back on March 31, police say two 18-year-old boys stopped at the Waffle House off Wooster Street for something to eat. When they sat down officers say Jacob Dick and Zachary Keller started shouting racial slurs at the teens and eventually punched them. Witnesses say the young men did nothing to provoke the incident.

"I can't believe it happened at all," said victim Justin Hartford. "I can't believe they would even say things like that."

In wake of the alleged attack people are wondering what can be done to prevent it from happening again.

"It is very important to start a wide community dialogue on this issue," said Maya who also runs La Conexion--a group focused on empowering the Latino community.

Maya's team is set to talk with city council Monday about ways businesses and people can identify and diffuse racially-charged incidents.

"They deserve to have proper training on how to deal with these type of situations," said Maya.

The concept is something that council president Mike Aspacher says he also can get behind.

"We don't want to bury these types of incidents in Bowling Green," said Aspacher. "If it's happening we want to know about it."

The city denounced the incident in a recent statement, but Aspacher believes more needs to be done.

"We are committed to working within the community to try to continue to educate all of those that live in Bowling Green and all of those who visit Bowling Green that this type of behavior is just not acceptable," said Aspacher.

While there isn't one solution to the problem both leaders agree that a discussion is the step in the right direction to stop racism in BG.

La Conexion is set to deliver its presentation and findings to city council at Monday at 7:00 p.m. in council chambers off Church Street. The public is welcome to attend.