Volunteers step up to clean downtown Dayton, businesses react to night of damage

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- Volunteers began the rebuilding process in Downtown Dayton Sunday morning following a night of destruction.

President and CEO of Dayton Live, which owns the Victoria Theater building says damage to windows, poster boxes and a security camera will be costly to fix. He also said it all happened within the last few minutes of the chaos.

Chef Liz Valenti, owner of Wheat Penny Oven and Bar was witness to some of the unrest during an earlier demonstration on Wayne Avenue.

“We were caught completely off guard with that,” said Valenti. “We were in a staff meeting and looked outside to find hundreds of people outside enflamed, angry [and] police trying to maintain.We felt compelled to help. We brought milk out, we brought water out, we tried to take care of everyone who needed assistance.”

Valenti decided to close the restaurant early, hours before a second protest brought more unrest to the streets of Downtown Dayton.

One restaurant in the Oregon District, just a few blocks from Wheat Penny sustained damage to the windows after an unidentified person threw a brick through the window.

Now, other businesses are concerned other damage could happen if protests continue to be disorderly. Valenti is encouraging anyone who might cause damage to think of those who own the small businesses downtown.

“These are independent businesses trying to make a living. Trying to make this town a better place. It’s been a tough year, no one could have anticipated this,” said Valenti.

However, Valenti says she’s prepared for another protest, if it leads to change.

“Let’s grow from this, and figure out the best method to fight racism, to fight classism, to fight homophobia. There’s so much and we can grow from this, we can choose a higher path and that’s what we want,” she said.

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