Six juveniles — the youngest 11, and the oldest 17 — nearly boxed in Dallas Watts, a 78-year-old man from East Toledo.
Mr. Watts was on his way home from the nearby Gas Express Mart at Starr Avenue and White Street about 4:45 p.m. Saturday when the boys approached him.
One pointed at Mr. Watts and said, “take him down,” the victim recounted in an interview Monday.
Mr. Watts, carrying home two small bags of pork rinds to dole out as treats to his three dachshunds, looked at the youth and said, “Why you picking on me?” Mr. Watts recalled. “Remember Trayvon. Why you picking on me?”
The boy, again, allegedly told his friends to “take him down.”
Toledo police charged two children — the 11-year-old and a 17-year-old — with robbery, Sgt. Roy Kennedy said.
The boys on Monday were ordered held in detention at the Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center, prosecutor Lori Olender said.
The 17-year-old also faces a felonious assault charge from an unrelated shooting, Ms. Olender said. The teen allegedly shot Mark Bolling, 24, in the 600 block of Leonard Street in East Toledo on March 18.
Mr. Watts said one of the boys delivered a single blow to the back of his head during the incident Saturday, knocking the victim to the ground.
At one point, the victim recalled being lifted from the ground so one of the boys could “drop-kick” him in the chest.
One boy, he said, put his foot on the back of the victim’s neck, with another shouting, “Kill him.”
While Mr. Watts was down the boys kicked him, over and over, shouting, “[Get] that white [man]. This is for Trayvon … Trayvon lives, white [man]. Kill that white [man],” according to a police report.
The boys fled when a man shouted at them, according to the report.
Mr. Watts said it’s possible the assault was retribution for the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch captain in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. Mr. Zimmerman has said he fired in self-defense and has not been charged with any crime.
The assault occurred only a few hours after a peaceful rally, near the Thurgood Marshall Building, 420 E. Manhattan Blvd., to show support for the Martin family.
At his home Monday, Mr. Watts said he has never allowed weapons inside and that when his four children were growing up, they were not allowed to play “cops and robbers, to kill the Indians.”
During the Vietnam War, Mr. Watts, who served in the military from 1950 to 1961, refused to let his boys play GI Joes.
There would be no more killing, he said.
But now, Mr. Watts says he plans to buy a gun and obtain a permit to carry it.
“What happened to me … down here on the corner, that changed my perspective on humanity,” Mr. Watts said.
Just east of Sanford, Florida. Sound familiar?
Julius Ricardo Bender, 18, and Yahaziel Isaac Israel, 19, both of Sanford, face charges of attempted first-degree murder, burglary with assault or battery and armed burglary.
The victim, a 50-year-old Winter Springs man whose name has not been released, is on life-support at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Deputies were called to the area of Lincoln Street and Beardall Avenue about6:30 p.m. March 26 to investigate a report of a man being beaten, Seminole County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Heather Smith said.
They found the victim in the woods on the north side of Lincoln Street.
According to arrest affidavits:
A witness told deputies he heard someone screaming for help and saw two men pull the victim from his vehicle. He said he watched as one man held the victim and the other beat him in the head with a hammer.
After they dragged the victim into the woods, the men drove away in his sport utility vehicle, which was later found abandoned about a half-mile away on Garbo Jack Lane.
Investigators got a break in the case Thursday, when a tip to Crimeline named Bender and gave the street name of the second suspect.
On Friday, investigators learned Israel’s fingerprints had been found both inside and outside of the victim’s vehicle.
The witness was shown photo lineups and picked out Bender and Israel as the men he saw beating the victim. He said Bender was the man wielding the hammer.
Both men were arrested late Friday.