Residents boycott local restaurant
Posted at: 08/17/2012 11:42 PM
| Updated at: 08/18/2012 5:39 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
Dozens protested Friday in front of a Rochester restaurant after learning a former employee has been arrested and charged with having sex with a 14-year-old boy. Police say the crime happened at a Henrietta Hotel in late July.
34-year-old Taha Alashwal was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sex act. Monroe County Sheriff's Deputies say he posted bail within days of his arrest. Community members say they're outraged that he's free. Friday they took a stand.
The owners of MoJoe's Famous Pizza and Chicken on Genesee Street told News10NBC that Alashwal was a manager there. He was fired on Monday. Protesters say it wasn't until the owner learned they were planning on protesting and boycotting that they fired Alashwal.
They say even though he was fired Monday they still wanted to get their message out.
Amen Ptah says as soon as he learned of Taha Alashwal's arrest he knew he had to take a stand. According to court paperwork the 34-year-old took a 14-year-old boy to a Henrietta Hotel. The paperwork says Alashwal told the teen he wanted to go out and have some fun because school was over.
It goes on to explain the two went into a whirlpool bath together and after when they were drying off Alashwal had sex with the teen. The paper work says the teen was able to run and get help from the front desk at the hotel.
The owner of MoJoe's conforms that after Alashwal posted bail he went back to work at the restaurant. He was fired this past Monday. The community says they won't support a business that employees people who are facing such serious accusations.
"I still engage people and they don't know," says protester Amen Ptah. "They like 'wow this happened.' Even just now passing out flyers to people in the cars they didn't know."
According to the court papers, Alashwal told an investigator with the Sheriff's Office that he had been arrested before for sexual misconduct. The protesters say they are glad so many people could come together and support the cause.
"To have the community out here supporting," says Jo'ce Hill. "Everybody thinks that in a black community no body can come together and make something happen. But we are trying to make something happen."
The protesters say they will continue the protests on Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both days.