Business owners have banded together after three recent armed robberies that ended in deaths at midstate convenience stores.
The Middle Georgia Asian American Business Community Association was formed over the weekend and is organizing a march in downtown Macon to bring awareness to the violence that killed Dipak “Danny” Patel, Jaymal Patel and Dilipbhai “Danny” Patel, said George Greer, the association’s attorney.
The march is scheduled to begin at Hart’s Mortuary on Cherry Street at 11 a.m. Thursday, with a walk up New Street to Rosa Parks Square, where a rally will be held. Elected officials, government officials and law enforcement representatives have been invited, he said.
After the rally, the march will return to the funeral home, where services will be held for Dipak Patel at 2 p.m.
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Association member Lou Patel said the rally also is meant to thank law-enforcement authorities for their efforts catching the suspects who are charged with killing Dipak Patel and Jaymal Patel.
Dipak Patel was fatally shot Aug. 30 during a robbery at the Chevron at 1257 Riverside Drive. Jaymal Patel was fatally shot and robbed while waiting for his brother to get off work at the RaceWay gas station at 5127 Mercer University Drive.
Three men have been charged with murder and armed robbery in connection with Dipak Patel’s death. A 16-year-old Macon youth has been charged with murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by an underage person and criminal attempt to commit carjacking in connection with Jaymal Patel’s death. A third man, Dilipbhai “Danny” Patel, was fatally shot in a botched robbery at the Lina Food Store in Haddock, just outside Milledgeville on July 15. No arrests have been made in his death.
Greer said representatives of the association met with Macon police Tuesday and are working with the police to make stores safer.
“We’re trying to give the police all the tools they need to do their jobs,” he said. “We’re hoping these stores won’t be seen as places of opportunity.”
Lou Patel said the association is open to business owners throughout Middle Georgia and isn’t limited to Asian Americans.
“Everybody’s welcome,” he said.
For more information about the association, contact Lou Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.