Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another Hate Crime in Cincinnati

Man Beaten Within An Inch of His Life

A man was “beaten within an inch of his life” says Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Mike John after a January 24 incident outside of a local bar/restaurant. Sunday morning at approximately 3:48am Robert Meehan was severely beaten just outside of Bootsy’s Restaurant at 631 Walnut Street. Just moments before he was beat, Meehan was recorded by a surveillance camera walking with a black man who is approximately 30-35 years old, 6'02"-6'03" in height and 225 lbs. He was wearing dark blue/black jeans, orange dress shirt, black jacket and black knit type hat. Three white women were also walking with the man in question along side of Meehan.

Meehan a 56-year old white man, is known to be a local writer, recently working to submit an article for Street Vibes. He gains much of his information from spending time at places such as bars where people socialize. Patrons and employees in the area of Walnut report regularly seeing Meehan. Patrons and neighbors report that Meehan is never disrespectful, never violent and has a calm disposition.

Lieutenant John says that this attack was “brutal and unprovoked.” Surveillance video shows Meehan and the other four people involved in a civil walk and conversation with no altercation. It seems that the attacker, without any cause, suddenly attacked Meehan. Lieutenant John says that really there never is a cause for such violence. The attacker picked up Robert Meehan, body-slammed him to the ground, punched him, beat him and reportedly hit him with a beer bottle. Lieutenant John says that this is “the worst beating [he has] ever seen, in which the victim did not die.” Currently, Meehan is in the ICU at University Hospital of Cincinnati in a medically induced coma. The beating was so bad that there is not enough bone structure left in his face to do surgery.

Meehan spends time staying with friends or spends time on the streets. Meehan is known by those who frequent the area surrounding Bootsy’s Restaurant and other local entertainment venues near Walnut and also Fountain Square. "It is difficult to understand why an individual would commit such a heinous crime against another person, especially a person who did nothing to provoke violence," said Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless director Josh Springs.

It is ironic that the attack occurred in the same week that the Cincinnati Coalition was hosting a forum on Hate Crimes against people who are homeless, and two weeks after an attack near the stadium of a man who was set on fire. Crimes such as these take different forms, but often are the most heinous and vicious. Michael Stoops from the National Coalition for the Homeless attended the forum to call attention to this disturbing national trend and the yearly report produced by NCH. The report details the frivolous attitude of many if the violent young people caught attacking those experiencing homelessness. Many claim an attitude of, “He was just a bum, so he doesn’t matter.”

With this mindset attackers target hate toward those who are vulnerable and just minding their own business or quietly trying to survive from one day to the next. The Cincinnati Coalition will be working with activists from around Ohio to strengthen state laws to punish those who attack homeless people with additional punishments after these two attacks.

Brian Davis
Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Kayla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frustrated said...

I am amazed at how much the media is covering this, and not telling the other side of the story. It is very unfortunate that this man was hurt and it could have been avoided. I am good friends with the three girls.. and Meehan was outside on the sidewalk as they walked to their car, offered them a beer, after they said no, he was either mad that they turned him down or had another reason, but he started following them, coming toward the man shaking the beer bottle at him. The man backed away, after Meehan came at him with the bottle is when he knocked it from his hands and hit him. This was not a brutal attack or unprovoked. He hit him altogether 3 times. I understand maybe should have hit him only once, but when someone comes at you you will react. This man was walking the girls to their car for this very reason, and because he chose to protect them and himself he is in a lot of trouble. After my friends, the three girls CHOSE to come forward and they told the police the real story, nothing is changed in the media.. instead they say that the three girls came forward and witnessed this 'brutal attack' The media says that the man hit Meehan with the beer bottle, which is completely NOT true. They must not have video of the actual event or they would know what went on. And why was this man drinking a bottle of beer on the streets of cincinnati? What kind of bar sells at 3:30 in the morning? And why did that bar let him walk out of their doors with the bottle?
As far as everyone saying Meehan is a nice harmless man who doesn't bother people. Why does he have over a dozen priors in 10 years ranging from Criminal trespassing, to criminal endangerment, an open flask and even theft less than two months ago! It was NOT 'Another Hate Crime in Cincinnati" but a situation that should have never happened, on both parts, and I think people that relay information need to get all of the facts.