And despite the efforts of the Dayton Downtown Partnership, one of the few remaining vintage businesses of Downtown is leaving:
The owner of a 51-year-old downtown business says it will close today and move to the Dayton Mall area.
Dayton Barber College owner Todd LeMaster says police constantly harassed students after a student’s arrest on suspected felony drug trafficking nearly two years ago.
“They ran my customers off,” he said. “At the end of the day the cops could have helped me rather than forced me from downtown.”
Dayton police deny LeMaster’s claims that the school was targeted.
The college will board up its 28 W. Fifth St. location and reopen Monday at 2741 Lyons Road in Miami Twp. LeMaster says the new facility underwent $300,000 in renovations.
Aside from the felony drug arrest on April 4, 2009, Dayton police Lt. Larry Faulkner said most arrests made of students were for minor marijuana charges and followed citizen complaints.
“We’d be happy for them to stay. It is not my job to run businesses off. I am here to encourage business,” he said. “None of this rose to the level that he seems to be taking it.”
Faulkner said there have been few problems at the college in recent months.
Police began working with the college and the Ohio Barber Board after complaints about suspected drug activity.
“It was a terrible perception having their students standing out front (of the school),” Faulkner said. “The businesses and citizens didn’t like it. They felt it looked bad and gave the wrong impression.”
LeMaster agreed that students wouldn’t be allowed to hang out front, but didn’t always keep that promise, Faulkner said. This prompted more complaints and investigations.
LeMaster, who has owned the college for 21 years, said he never formally complained about police to avoid trouble.
Students performed 400 hair cuts a week before problems with police began, LeMaster said.
The school gets about 200 clients a week now. Enrollment dropped from about 75 students to 45.
LeMaster appealed a public nuisance charge filed on April 15, 2009, by the city’s division of housing inspection brought on by the student’s arrest for suspected drug possession and trafficking charges.
The City of Dayton Nuisance Appeal Board upheld the charge and ruled that LeMaster could have known of the student’s criminal activity if reasonable care and diligence had been exercised.
LeMaster said he found the nuisance charge personally painful because he strived to maintain a quality business.
“We take pride in what we do and the service we provide,” LeMaster said of the college that offers haircuts for $7. “Now they can look at a boarded-up building.”
Let me translate the above paragraph in bold italics for you: “It was a terrible perception having young black males standing on the public sidewalk,” Faulkner said. “The Spaghetti Warehouse, and The Dayton Chess Club and Tri-College Bookstore” and the one resident on E. Fifth Street didn’t like the cigarette butts on the sidewalk.
Had LeMaster put up a little wrought iron fence, and put cafe tables out- served latte – and had at least one white student- he’d still be there.
Despite the City being at least 50% African American, the reality is that the Monarchy of Montgomery County only tolerates enough African Americans to stay in power. We have no interest in strengthening and supporting black business- unless they are large supporters of the political machine or move in the correct circles.
The damage has been done, yet another business in Dayton closes up and moves to suburbia- and we can wait for the next art gallery, coffee shop or tax supported business to take the bait.
Best wishes to Mr. LeMaster. Sorry to see you go.
PART 2 (added 2 hours later)
It occurs to me that I should have supported my claim that political supporters, especially white ones- get a different treatment. Read this post about an “unnamed nightclub” in Downtown Dayton:Houses of ill repute vs. regulators of no respect. Now- look at this article that was published by the DDN this a.m.:
DAYTON — An unidentified man was shot four times early Friday morning during an argument at Hammerjax nightclub in downtown Dayton, police said.
The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Police responding to reports of a disturbance heard gunshots shortly after they arrived at the nightclub at 111 East Fourth Street at about 2:30 a.m.
The difference- one club owner hosts birthday parties for Rhine McLin and gives gifts of tile mosaic portraits.
LeMaster was cited and harassed-
“a public nuisance charge filed on April 15, 2009, by the city’s division of housing inspection brought on by the student’s arrest for suspected drug possession and trafficking charges.”
While shootings at nightclubs…. hmmm.