11 yr.-old raped in ''hell''; otherwise known as a ''gun-free'' Toledo city park

August 16, 2004
NBC24.com (Toledo)

Toledo Police are searching for the man who raped an 11-year-old girl behind a South Toledo park.

The crime happened in an area her father calls "Hell". Now he wants the city to clean it up.

Toby Hansen spoke exclusively with NBC 24 yesterday. He says Danny Thomas Park looks quiet and safe from the front. But he says once you walk through the park it's a different story.

Behind the basketball court and over some train tracks there are slabs of broken concrete and metal rods. What you'll find in the rubble is shocking. Hansen says there's panties, bras, girls stockings. He wants to know who left this mess and he wants someone to clean it up before something horrible happens again.

NBC 24 called the City Parks Department, but our calls were not returned. The police say they won't be able to comment on this case until later today.

Here's a description of the suspect. He said his name was Red and that he was 37 years old. He's a white male, around 6'1, 240 to 250 pounds. He has short, dark hair and was wearing a white hat with red pinstripes, a white shirt, black shorts and white sneakers.

If you have any information on this crime call Crime Stoppers at 255-1111.

Commentary by Chad D. Baus:
They ask why anyone would want to carry a firearm in a park. They claim banning guns will keep our children safe.

The City of Toledo has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the state, and it shows in the headlines, and on the obituary pages.

During the years leading up to passage of House Bill 12, Mayor Jack Ford vigorously opposed concealed carry legislation. He presides over a city which bans the practice of open carry for self-defense, held up by five Supreme Court Justices as a "fundamental, individual" right".

Mayor Ford's latest action against those who would wish to protect themselves is to dictate an illegal ban on concealed carry in city parks. Ford has not even bothered to consult with Toledo City Council. He just ordered that the signs be posted in all 144 city parks.

Despite having these rules declared "invalid" by the Ohio Attorney General, there is no doubt Chief Michael Navarre will carry out Ford's wishes and attempt to press charges on some unsuspecting individual "caught" legally carrying.

In a recent story about how carry-out owners are arming themselves after a year or more stretch of violent robberies in Toledo, "Toledo's police Chief Mike Navarre said he teaches small business owners not to have a gun."

Navarre "wants owners to comply with criminals because anytime you have more guns in a tense situation, the better the chance of people getting shot and it's just not worth it."

In a June 22 story describing Mayor Ford's "anger" after an armed robber in a local Subway store assaulted an elderly customer, and endangered her grandchild, we commented that "the next time a jogger is raped or an elderly walker mugged in a Toledo city park, we've no doubt Mayor Ford will really be 'ticked'."

We absolutely hate being right about predictions like these.

With anti-self-defense policies like Ford's, and with a police chief like Mike Navarre, words don't count for much.

Contact Toledo City Council by email, or by calling 419-245-1050.

Mayor Jack Ford can be reached by email, or by calling 419-936-2020.

Chief Mike Navarre can be reached by email, or by calling 419-245-3200.

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