Man, 78, Recounts Assault by 6 Youths in E. Toledo

Taylor Dungjen, Toledo Blade, April 3, 2012

It was six against one.

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.”

{snip}

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. {snip}

{snip}

When asked about the Trayvon remarks, Mr. Watts said, “All I meant by saying ‘remember Trayvon’ is to remember what happened to him, don’t duplicate it here,” suggesting that he was minding his own business as he walked home.

“The only reason I mentioned Trayvon, that was my defense,” Mr. Watts said. “Don’t pick on me. I am not your enemy.”

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.

{snip}

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.

Dennis Watts

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