Attack at east side 7-Eleven could be investigated as hate crime

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 11:42 AM EDT
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A Toledo man was assaulted in a 7-Eleven store after two men followed him inside early Sunday morning in east Toledo, and police could proceed charges of a hate crime.

At around 1:20 a.m., the clerk at the 7-Eleven on Navarre Ave. to report a fight at the store. John Davis, 19, said two white males followed him into the store's parking lot, using racial slurs and nearly running him over on his bike.

Davis, a black male, went into the store and speaks with customers and employees inside. At point of the video, he appears to be consoled by one of the customers.

However, the two suspects followed him inside. One approached Davis and began punching him in the face. Davis defends himsel until the clerk separated them.

The suspects fled the scene in a Toyota. Davis told police he does not know who the suspects are and the fight was unprovoked.

Police continue to investigate the incident. There is surveillance video of the incident, and it could be investigated and prosecuted as a hate crime.

"Yes, it was originally labeled as an RRE -- racial religion or ethnic intimidation -- and charges could proceed as such," Toledo Police Lt. Kellie Lenhardt said.

Police have not spoken with Davis, either, a step they need to take to proceed forward with any potential prosecution.

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