Summit County court worker sues deputies, judge who attacked him

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A Summit County court-appointed psychologist was attacked by a judge and then tackled by deputies for entering an employee entrance to the courthouse, according to a newly filed lawsuit.

The incident happened on Sept. 15, 2020 when Dr. Curtis Williams was leading a mental health program in a courtyard at the Summit County courthouse.

The lawsuit claimed Williams went through a side entrance of the courthouse to use the restroom when he was confronted by Judge Elinor Marsh Stormer.

“I’m not going to speculate. I just think that maybe she just mistook him for a defendant or another member of the public or someone who was just not a courthouse employee that should have had to go around to the front door,” Williams’ attorney, Peter Pattakos said.

Pattakos said Marsh Stormer falsely accused Williams of attacking her at the entrance.

She admitted in a police report that she put her hands on his chest as he said “you’re pushing me.”

“When a simple 15 second, 30 second conversation could have resolved this, the judge instead screams at the top of her lungs to alarm the courthouse police and essentially represents Curtis as being a threat to courthouse security, as having attacked her and within seconds police are rushing him,” Pattakos said.

The humiliation for Williams doesn’t end there.

“Curtis overheard one of the officers say ‘hey, I think he works in this building,’ but that didn’t stop them,” Pattakos said. “That didn’t stop them from deploying the taser, handcuffing him, pinning him to the floor and humiliating him.”

Williams has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Akron, Summit County, three deputies, Marsh Stormer, and a civil clerk. 19 News reached out to the city and county for a comment, but neither commented.

“We think this case shows just how insulated from public accountability our public officials have become and that if we don’t take a stand, if Curtis Williams doesn’t take a stand against it here then what hope does anyone have,” Pattakos said.