NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Numerous angry callers are confusing a Center Ridge Road auto shop for a Lorain Road auto shop that recently displayed a message mocking transgender people on a sign outside the business.
Gary Baker, owner of North Ridgeville Automotive, 35215 Center Ridge Road, said his business has received dozens of calls from angry people accusing him of attacking transgender people.
However, the callers have Baker confused with Jay Linn, owner of Northridge Auto Repair and Service, 32499 Lorain Road, who posted the sign at a different business not associated with Baker.
Linn recently posted a sign directed toward transgender people with the message, “if you don’t know who you identify as pull down your pants and look.” His business has since been inundated with phone calls regarding the sign from some who have chastised him and others who have praised him.
Linn, who also serves as the Olmsted Falls City Council president, has posted many signs over the years, and he said he has no regrets about the message he directed toward those who are transgender.
Yet the similar between the names of the two North Ridgeville auto shops owned by different people has resulted in attacks on Baker’s business.
Baker, who attended high school with Linn, said when he receives angry calls about the sign he is in no way connected to, he tries explaining to callers that they have the wrong guy. He said he points out the different addresses, phone numbers and business names.
But he said that often isn’t enough, and callers then accuse him of lying, making excuses or trying to cover up his messages.
“We’ve been getting an enormous amount of calls from people cursing us out and calling us names and all kinds of stuff,” Baker said. “I try to explain then they call me a liar. If people read the article properly, they’d understand it’s not me.”