BOWLING GREEN (WTOL) - An alleged hate crime in Bowling Green has sparked a conversation about how to make the community more accepting and safe. The members of La Conexion, a Latino organization in the city led that conversation on Monday. Their members were shocked when they first heard about the incident.
“We were really appalled and really surprised and it was really unexpected,” said Beatriz Maya, the director of La Conexion.
On March 31, two men were attacked inside the Waffle House on East Wooster Street around 3:30 a.m. According to police, the attackers used racial slurs toward the two victims after they entered the restaurant. The suspects paid for their meal, then assaulted the victims.
Bowling Green State University and other groups within Bowling Green were quick to denounce those who allegedly attacked the two men.
Members of La Conexion plan to present their ideas to the Bowling Green City Council about how to move forward from this incident. Ideas such as employee trainings and the exploration of a no tolerance policy for racism and hate are among their ideas.
“This is not about confronting council or anything like that. But to offer cooperation to working toward preventing this type of incident from happening again,” Maya said.
Additional solutions to present to council were brought forward last week at a public meeting. Some suggested teaching people how to safely intervene when they see someone getting attacked. But the Bowling Green Police Department says that’s not always the best solution.
“We wouldn’t necessarily recommend that because you may not know who’s involved the people involved or what they’re capable of so if you step in between you might become the victim yourself as opposed to breaking up the situation,” said Lt. Dan Mancuso of the Bowling Green Police Department.
Other groups like Not in Our Town plan to support La Conexion in finding a solution to this problem.