Prosecutor on attack suspect: OTR residents deserve protection from people like this

Daren Thomas, 29, was arraigned on assault charges Wednesday morning. He's accused to attacking an OTR woman who confronted him about selling drugs (FOX19 NOW)
Daren Thomas, 29, was arraigned on assault charges Wednesday morning. He's accused to attacking an OTR woman who confronted him about selling drugs (FOX19 NOW)
(Cincinnati Police Department)
(Cincinnati Police Department)

OVER-THE-RHINE (FOX19) - The man charged with attacking an Over-The-Rhine resident appeared in Hamilton County Court Wednesday morning.

Cincinnati Police arrested and charged Darren Thomas, 29, with felonious assault Tuesday afternoon.

Police say Thomas nearly beat Shannon Mays unconscious after she says she told Thomas to stop selling drugs outside her home.

The attack on Mays happened in the 40 block of East McMicken on May 2.

Thomas appeared in court Wednesday morning on those charges as well as misdemeanor charges for a separate assault.

Thomas is charged with misdemeanor assault and unauthorized use of a vehicle for pushing a woman to the ground, fleeing, then returning later and taking her vehicle, court records say.

Officials say the incident between Thomas and the woman took place April 22 at 243 Albion Place.

A Hamilton County judge ordered a bond of $250,000 for the felonious assault charge.

A prosecutor said Mays told Thomas to move out of the breezeway in her apartment complex and to sell drugs elsewhere. That's when Thomas turned around, grabbed a blunt object, a struck Mays with it, the prosecutor said, which caused temporary Mays' to suffer blindness.

"We believe that this is a very aggravated situation and the people who live in Over-The Rhine deserve protection from people like this." the prosecutor said.

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

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.

The prosecutor said Thomas has 11 prior felonies relating to drugs and weapons.

Thomas remains in jail and is scheduled to appear in court again May 18.

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