Victims of mob violence in Waterbury now are considering legal action against the organizers.

The owners of Waterbury’s Big Apple Motel are considering filing a lawsuit against people who damaged the motel by breaking windows, ripping down a neon sign and trashing the lobby. The lawsuit also would seek compensation for the motel’s damaged reputation.

In this past year, there have been multiple violent protests at the West Main Street motel plus ongoing Internet libelous accusations.

The owner of the motel, Pakistani immigrant Aijaz Ahmed, said he came to this country because it is the land of freedom, where people could protest without fear of being jailed for one’s views. However, peaceful protests are one thing. Violent demonstrations are another altogether.

During a violent August demonstration at the motel, hundreds of people broke windows, destroyed signs, and caused thousands of dollars of damage to the building. Staff was threatened, Ahmed said.

Protestors come still come nightly, although they aren’t as violent or as large in number as they were on in August when a lie was circulated on social media claiming that a young woman had been harmed at the motel.

Since then, Aijaz Ahmed, and his son Umar have installed additional security cameras in front of the motel as well as on the side of the building as well as public areas of the interior.

Ahmed, which has paid $56,061 in local property taxes since 2018, said he hopes the security cameras, that feed directly to the Waterbury police department, will help keep nefarious individuals out of the motel and will help keep the streets outside safe.

While the family acknowledges there has been crime in the area, they point out that it is not at the motel. They agree that there have been numerous calls to the police from the hotel – but those calls have been to report potential crimes and suspicious activity outside the motel, not inside.

The Ahmed’s said they have identified at least some of the perpetrators and now are considering legal action against the individuals who seem to want to continue to promote the slander and libel and who instigated the violence.

The family’s attorney, well-known Waterbury lawyer Timothy Moynahan, said, “what has happened to the family is disgraceful. Peaceful protests are one thing are an important part of our democracy. Violence is not.”

“What these mobs did to this family is beyond the bounds of normal human decency. It’s also illegal, and we are moving toward legal action,” he said.

Originally published: Patch.com/Connecticut

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