OTR community rallies around woman allegedly beaten by drug dealer

OVER-THE-RHINE (FOX19) - An Over-the-Rhine woman who was brutally beaten after confronting a drug dealer was shown she is not alone this week. Dozens of activists surrounded her home chanting that drug dealers are not welcome in the community.

The group also made a call for police and city leaders to do more.

Shannon Mays' bruises are beginning to fade but the community support continues to grow stronger. When she walked out of her apartment on McMicken Avenue on Tuesday she was embraced with open arms.

"I just want to say, 'Thank you' to everybody that's coming out and showing me support. I appreciate it very much," said Mays to the crowd.

FOX19 sat down with Mays this past Wednesday, the day after she was attacked. She says when she told the "so-called" neighborhood dope supplier to move away from her apartment he started beating her.

While FOX19's cameras were there, they caught what looked like a drug deal in the very spot where Tuesday's rally was held.

"Will anybody else stand up to the drug dealers other than Shannon," radio host Lincoln Ware asked the crowd from his megaphone.

Ware says he felt compelled to organize an anti-violence rally after watching FOX 19's story.

"When I saw her I could not believe somebody would do that to her and she stood up to the guy. That's what really motivated me to say hey you can stand up to those guys in the community. We have your back," said Ware.

Mays expressed relief after hearing that police arrested Darren Thomas, who will be spending his 30th birthday in jail for felonious assault. Police say Thomas also has a previous felony offense for dealing drugs.

"We are losing our kids. It's too much going on out here and the bottom line of it is most of it is about drugs," said Mays.

During the rally neighbors and activists called for police to have a stronger presence, patrolling the streets and adding security cameras. Cincinnati City Council Member Jeff Pastor also had a message to those pushing drugs on the streets.

"We just want to say to the drug dealers, 'We know that you're desperate, but there is a way.' There is a way but we're not going to tolerate you putting your hands on females because you can't sell your drugs," said Pastor.

Cincinnati police say Thomas will not be able to bond out of jail because he was wanted on a parole violation when he was arrested.

"I just want where I live to be safe for everyone around here. Not just for myself -- for everyone," said Mays.

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