Arrest made after OTR woman attacked for confronting suspected drug dealer

(Cincinnati Police Department)
(Cincinnati Police Department)

OVER-THE-RHINE (FOX19) - An arrest has been made one week after an Over-The-Rhine resident was attacked for confronting an alleged drug dealer.

Shannon Mays was beaten nearly unconscious when she told a man to stop selling drugs outside her home. It happened in the 40 block of East McMicken on May 2.

"He just ran up to me and hit me and just continued on hitting me," said Mays.

On Tuesday, police announced Darren Thomas, 29, had been charged with felonious assault in connection with the case.

"We got some information from a couple of reliable sources that it was Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Mays was able to assist with that it was him who assaulted her," Captain Lisa Davis said.

Mays believes the vicious attack was a form of retaliation. Over the years, she has repeatedly made complaints to police about ongoing drug activity in her neighborhood.

The Cincinnati NAACP called the attack a "wake-up call" for city leaders and condemned law enforcement's response to "communities plagued by overt drug activity."

"Every member of Council and the mayor should be compelled to develop a strategic action plan to rectify the unchallenged daily drug activity which is terrorizing Ms. Mays' and many other neighborhoods," NAACP leaders wrote in a letter to city council Monday.

Mays claims drug dealers are constantly near her home and that she sometimes fears for her life.

"People sit around and they see this stuff going on and no one care but me. I care where I live at. They don't live down here. They just come down here to sell their drugs and it's ridiculous," Mays said.

Though Mays says she was beaten nearly unconscious she is going to continue to speak out whenever she sees people peddling drugs outside of her home.

"I think Shannon Mays is an incredibly courageous person," said Cincinnati City Council member Greg Landsman. "It's terribly sad and frustrating that people have to endure this kind of thing."

NAACP leaders are calling for city council members to take a close look at drug problems in Cincinnati neighborhoods.

"Similar to the recent 911 call center visit which resulted in operational improvements, we encourage you to tour the Over the Rhine community with Ms. Mays, CP, and community members to identify opportunities to ensure the safety of residents," the letter to council read.

Community leaders said they are not going to stand for what happened to her.

"Miss Mays and what she's done, how brave she is, is just a testament to what's going on, the work that's going on, the community output," Davis said.

Cincinnati police said Thomas will not be able to bond out on the felonious assault charge because he was wanted on parole violation when he was arrested.

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