State lawmaker takes hits in bar fight, defends himself

State Rep. Rick Perales, a former college boxer, took “two hard rights” to the face, was knocked to the ground and kicked at Elsa’s Restaurant-East before popping back up to defend himself, according to his account of the bar fight.

Dayton Police were called to the popular Mexican restaurant on Linden Avenue but no report was filed, said Perales, a Beavercreek Republican.

“It was unprovoked. I can’t even tell you why. Really can’t. You know, it turned out that I took a couple. It was a 45-second issue. Then I defended myself a little and it was over. It wasn’t worthy of a police report. Somebody was angry,” Perales said.

Perales said he was at Elsa’s to meet someone around 6 p.m. on Oct. 10, ordered tacos and a drink at the bar and was chatting with a woman seated nearby. A man showed up and was being verbally abusive to the woman, calling her names, Perales said.

“I stood up – but not to fight – and I said ‘Man, what’s your problem?’” Perales recounted. “And he said ‘You are’ as he was delivering a, like I said I boxed in college, it was a nice right. And then before I even recognized that he had nailed me, he hit me again and then I started to go down. And then he started kicking me and I got up and you know, defended myself, let’s say that.”

Perales, who is short but muscular, described the opponent as much bigger guy and a bully.

Perales, a former Greene County commissioner and Beavercreek mayor, is a U.S. Air Force veteran serving his first term in the Ohio House.

The fight caused no damage and no serious injury so Perales said he elected not to file a police report.