Sunday, October 16, 2005

Saturday in Toledo

The anti-Nazi riot in Toledo yesterday:

It started with neo-Nazis, mushroomed into a riot, and left behind a community shaken and wounded.

With violence not seen in Toledo since the race riots of the 1960s, crowds sometimes numbering more than 500 yesterday threw rocks, bottles, and bricks at law enforcement officials. Police responded with clouds of tear gas and wooden “knee-knocker” pellets.

At its ugliest, looters struck at least four businesses, including Jim and Lou’s bar at 3032 Mulberry St., which they set on fire. There were assaults on bystanders and vandalism with damages in the tens of thousands of dollars, including attacks on emergency and media vehicles. Police said overtime costs could easily exceed $100,000.

Police arrested at least 60 people — 43 adults and 17 juveniles — primarily for aggravated rioting, assault, and vandalism. Some were gang members, police and Mayor Jack Ford said.

One police officer was treated for a head injury after she was hit in the head with a stone. A firefighter paramedic was also treated. Numerous other officers sustained minor injuries when struck by objects. There were no official reports of injuries to citizens, but some people were overcome by tear gas and at least two Blade photographers were assaulted.

The city’s image also took a beating, as news helicopters circled overhead and images of looting and burning in Toledo were broadcast across the country.

It also gives the neo-Nazis a bit of propaganda of their own. Yuck.