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Former city council candidate responds to fight at Elevate on Saturday; puts emphasis on parenting

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PEORIA (HOI) - A Peoria attorney and former City Council candidate is making his stance known after a weekend fight involving dozens of juveniles. Rob Hanauer said in a Zoom interview Monday that a post he made on his Facebook page was being misconstrued.

In that (now deleted) post, he referred to those involved in violence like the fight at Elevate or previous large skirmishes at Northwoods Mall as "urban terrorists."

He insists this message was not racially motivated

"We have mass groups of people, again both black and white, who are creating and instilling fear through the use of violence in this community. [..] And everybody wants to jump to the race card. That's the first thing people did in the comments. The reality is, we have to have these hard discussions," he explained Monday afternoon.

Hanauer said good parenting is at the center of the solution.

"The reality is we seem to have a problem right now. And to ignore that problem when you're trying to protect your children from violence wouldn't be good parenting. It's not going to stop me from taking my kids to Elevate or taking them to the mall," he explained.

The incident Saturday involved dozens of juveniles during Elevate's now defunct "Teen Night." A YouTube video shows several minutes of the fight as staff members tried but failed to get the crowd under control.

"It's also bad for society. We've got a community in Peoria, there are many people paralyzed by fear," said Hanauer.

He said the fear of going out is also affecting businesses that are already struggling to survive due to COVID, saying "It's having profound effects on people, their activities, the business community because people aren't going places as a result of fear."

Kyle Beachy

Kyle Beachy is a Multimedia Journalist for 25 News and Heart of Illinois. Born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, he attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied Education and played baseball. He comes to us from Columbus, Ohio where he received a Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University.

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