Buffalo News, Sunday, September 20, 1998, page C-5 (no byline)
A 24-year-old Buffalo man was arrested late Friday on an assault charge after police said he attacked four young people with an aluminum bat outside a tavern on Howard Street.
Police charged Matthew Mangus of 508 Fillmore Ave. with assault, possession of a weapon and aggravated harassment.
Police said the young people, two whites and two blacks, were walking down Howard Street late Friday when Mangus, who is white, came out of a bar and walked ahead of them, pointing his finger at them as though it were a gun.
Mangus then got a bat from his car and hit one of the four young people in the back and another on the wrist, yelling racial slurs, police said.
As the three young men and one woman scattered, the suspect, who police said was intoxicated, chased them in his car continuing to yell and make threats.
The four, who had called police, were in a patrol car heading back toward the bar area when they spotted the suspect in his car. Officers Thomas Leatherbarrow and Thomas Beyer of the Broadway Station made the arrest.
"We were just walking by," one of the victims, a 17-year-old youth, said Saturday. "Never saw the guy before."
Three Baha'i youths and a friend were victims of a racially motivated incident Friday evening, September 18th, in the City of Good Neighbors. Elisha Choczynski, Jared Williams, and Tyrone Bell along with their friend J.R. were assaulted outside Popeye's on Howard Street. Tyrone was hit in the back, but apparently is okay; Jared's broken wrist is presently in a cast; J.R. suffered a cracked spine but is okay; Elisha was not harmed.
The City of Buffalo is presently under investigation by the FBI for an increasing number of racial incidents that have been reported by the press. A recent incident in Lovejoy, a neighborhood further east bordering the Village of Sloan, involving an interracial couple and their children became a discussion at the last Baha'i Feast (a worship, discussion and social meeting) in Buffalo, September 8th. Suggestions ranged from a call for a personal response to the particular Lovejoy incident (to show our support, love, concern) to each of us starting race dialogue groups, in our own neighborhoods, based on the National Baha'i initiative: "The Power of Race Unity". These suggestions were sent to the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Buffalo for further discussion. However, individuals need not wait to act.
Among the Baha'i presence in this area of the City is the Fakhri family on Wilson, Erie Auto Parts (Siavosh Khanjani, Shahdad Waseh and their employees) on William, the Choczynski and Delaney families on Oneida and numerous area youth who have been involved in the Virtues Deepenings started by Deana Choczynski. By stressing the virtues and by stressing a spiritual approach to relationships both Deana and Ray, as well as their children Elisha, Isaiah and Zach have given the area some hope that people can get along and that the future is brighter for race relations than the very gloomy situation here in Buffalo. Presently the Baha'is meet at 205 Oneida Street (847-1172), in the house next to their home. Next Feast is September 27th, Sunday at 4 p.m. All Baha'is (wish we could invite those who are not Baha'is, but we cannot as this is a business meeting) from any community are welcome to come to our Feasts. Perhaps this one, in the afternoon (there is no Bills game!), would be a good one to join us and show support for our youth and our community.
Support for the youth and their families is appreciated. Elisha Choczynski may be reached at (716) 854-6149 or (email@example.com)