CINCINNATI — A Cincinnati man is recovering after half of his face was fractured during an argument inside a gas station over a face mask Sunday night. One woman now stands charged in the assault, but the victims said they hope other suspects involved will see justice.
Steven Long and James Saylor told WCPO they were assaulted inside a Bond Hill Thornton’s gas station on Reading Road, and it all started over a question about a face mask.
“I was just in complete, utter shock,” Long said.
Long told WCPO he stepped up to the counter to pay, but first asked the clerk a question.
“I asked the clerk, ‘Are you not enforcing the mask rule anymore?’ This woman turned around with some explicit language, and smacked me right in the face,” Long said.
That’s when Saylor said the woman began throwing soda cans, food and fruit at the pair.
“Then she goes to display signs. She’s tearing up the store,” he said.
According to a police report of the incident, 31-year-old Tra’chell Bonner was upset Long asked about mask enforcement.
“She was kicking me in the chest. I’ve never seen, or experienced anything like this,” Long said. That’s when he called 911.
“She has (Saylor) in the corner by the ATM, biting him. I’m trying to get her off of him. I didn’t realize she still has him in her mouth,” he said.
The Cincinnati Police report describes Bonner grabbing a metal sign and hitting Saylor before other suspects got involved. WCPO has requested security footage and 911 calls for the incident.
“They’re stomping all over my body. Intentionally stomping on my head. As soon as the police get there, they scatter. Run. Right past the police, get in their car and leave.”
Officers arrested Bonner and charged her with felonious assault and criminal damaging.
What's left now are painful reminders of a tense situation.
“The whole side of my face is fractured,” Saylor said. “Nose is broken in two places and fractured. Fractured all under my eyes.”
The pair are hopeful police will connect the dots to find the other suspects involved.
“We want the people off the street, the people who did this to me,” Saylor said. “They could’ve killed me.”