Downtown businesses clean up after weekend protests

Downtown businesses and residents wasted no time cleaning up, working as early as Sunday morning after the protests Saturday to pick up the pieces, sweeping up broken glass and boarding windows and doors.

Chris Riegel, owner of Stratacache Tower downtown, said two of the tower’s structures were tagged with graffiti; all of that was cleaned up by noon Sunday, he said.

“Police showed just incredible restraint around it,” Riegel said. “But there were clearly large groups of agitators. They weren’t near the peaceful protesters. They were here to cause destruction, no question.”

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The tower at Second and Main streets, downtown Dayton’s tallest, had a heavy security presence Saturday.

“What we saw is that having a heavy security presence at your building, even though there were problems, we were able to react quickly,” said Riegel, who is founder and chief executive of international digital signage business Stratacache. “If you have security there and you make yourself visible, you can at least defend your property.

“Everybody’s getting back to normal as quickly as possible,” he said.

Many businesses were able to clean up by Sunday, although some signs of damage remained this morning. Others had boarded up windows or doors before protests began.

Graffiti was obvious at the federal building; doors and windows were boarded up at MJ’s bar on Jefferson Street, as were doors and windows in the nearby Fire Blocks district. The Old Courthouse at Courthouse Square appeared to have one boarded window pane.

At the federal building, crews could be seen attending to the graffiti.

People could also been seen cleaning up on a beautiful morning. Teri Macaulay, Marge Etson and Jeanne Keffer could be seen attending to large planters on North Ludlow Street.

“We’re with the Four Seasons Garden Club,” Macaulay said. “There are volunteers from the Downtown Dayton Partnership, too. We’re just planting planters and trying to bring some beauty downtown.”

“It was all planned, actually,” Etson said. “We were coming here on Monday. It’s not in response to the” protests.

Matt Webster stood outside Don’s Pawn Shop, 107 E. Third St., smoking a cigarette Monday morning. He said shop managers decided to close and lock up early Saturday.

“We’re fine,” said Webster, who works at the pawn shop. “We have these big pull-down gates that come down, that we pull down every night. We didn’t get any damage.”

Further east on East Third, windows and doors had been boarded up in the Fire Blocks District.

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