Most video of Summit County court worker attacked by deputies, judge “destroyed”

“When the videos were not fully revealed then I became concerned,” Dr. Curtis Williams said.
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:23 PM EDT
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SUMMIT COUNTY, 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 September 15, 2020 when Dr. Curtis Williams was leading a mental health program in a courtyard outside 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 Stormer falsely accused Williams of attacking her.

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

Williams was arrested and charged with assaulting the judge. That charge was later dropped.

Williams has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Akron, Summit County, three deputies, Stormer, and a civil clerk for civil rights violations.

19 News reached out to the city and county for a comment, but neither commented.

“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.

“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.”

His lawsuit claimed there were five surrounding surveillance cameras that had the beatdown on tape, but the footage on four of them was apparently “destroyed.”

It’s alleged in the lawsuit it was to conceal what happened.

“Early on in the holding cell, accusations were being stated that I assaulted Judge Stormer and I was defending myself saying ‘that’s not the case,’” Williams said. “Then it went into a level of dialogue to say ‘well, we have it all on video tape,’ which I become not extremely excited but more hopeful and I made the statement of ‘great we’ll be able to see everything,’ so when the videos were not fully revealed then I became concerned.”

Williams’ lawsuit said prosecutors tried to coerce him into writing an apology to Stormer and an agreement not to sue.

He said this whole ordeal has been degrading.

“The legal system is not supposed to bargain with individuals for their freedom and so when I was being bargained with I couldn’t reconcile the idea of ‘I didn’t do anything wrong,’” Williams said. “So why am I being bargained with as it relates to my personal freedom and my dignity.”