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She asked a man to stop dealing drugs near her home; he hit her with a brick

Posted at 1:10 AM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 01:10:31-04

CINCINNATI -- When Shannon Mays spotted a man dealing drugs outside her Over-the-Rhine home, she stepped onto her porch and told him he needed to leave. Find a different place to do what he was doing.

He turned around and clouted her across the face with a brick.

The blow was more than physical, radio host Lincoln Ware said Tuesday evening.

"She was sad," he said. "I mean, shaken up. She wanted to move out of the neighborhood."

However, the support of Ware and members of the Over-the-Rhine community coaxed her first out of the house and then into a march against violence in the neighborhood. With her hair in a high ponytail that exposed the wide, pale scar on her forehead, she walked alongside Ware and other activists bearing signs and slogans.

The man suspected of striking her, Darren Thomas, had been arrested hours earlier in connection to the attack. 

"I just want to say thank you to everyone who's coming out and showing me support," she said. "I appreciate it very much."

At the end of the march, the group stopped at her doorstep to pray.

"If this happens again, you won't be afraid to stand up?" Ware asked her.

"No," she replied. "Not at all. Not where I live."

Ware said he hopes everyone in Over-the-Rhine will be inspired by her example and work to create a community free from crime.

"We've got to tell the people in the community that won't be tolerated," he said. "If you stand up like Shannon stood up, we got your back."

Organizers of the event stressed that although they respected Mays' bravery, the best way to confront violence and crime in any community is to contact authorities.