Summit Metro Parks ranger on paid leave after reportedly assaulting elderly couple for honking at him
AKRON, OH (WOIO) - A Summit Metro Parks ranger has been put on paid leave after he reportedly handcuffed an elderly couple and filed multiple charges against them for honking at him on Wednesday morning.
"He had me handcuffed for an hour and a half. It's ridiculous. For nothing," said Carl Wilson.
The ranger pursued Carl and Margaret Wilson, both in their 70s, from Goodyear Heights Metro Park and confronted them in a driveway along Darrow Road in Summit County, according to Summit Metro Parks Executive Director Lisa King.
"He kept telling me to get on the ground. I didn't do anything wrong, why should I get on the ground? I also had asbestos in both lungs and it was hard to breathe and I can't lay on my chest, so I rolled over onto my side after he handcuffed me," said Carl.
The 72-year-old said the ranger also kicked Margaret during the incident.
"This guy is completely crazy. After he kicked my wife, he proved to me he wasn't a man, just a smart alleck punk," Carl said.
Margaret went to the hospital for injuries to her right elbow, lower back and head.
"She's been using ice packs and taking Tylenol. A lot of back pain and soreness through the lower part of her body," Carl said.
Carl was also hurt. His wrist was bruised from the handcuffs and his knee is sore from being on the ground. He also said he was wearing a chest vest to protect his heart following surgery.
The couple was charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of official business, aggravated menacing and failure to comply.
King has demanded that all charges against the couple be dropped, has pledged to conduct an internal investigation and has asked the Akron Police Department to perform a review of the incident.
She has also reached out to the Wilson's to get their side of the story.
According to a Facebook post published by Kimberly Smith Lawrence -- a friend of the Wilson family -- Carl, a U.S. Army veteran who lacks breast bones due to an open heart surgery, was reportedly pushed to the ground and handcuffed for 90 minutes. Margaret was allegedly kicked in the stomach and also handcuffed.
"We take this matter very seriously. Our rangers are commissioned peace officers who enforce the park district's rules, regulations and other applicable laws to protect resources, keep visitors safe and maintain good order. We hold our rangers, and all of our employees, to a high standard of conduct, said King in a prepared statement. "Even though this incident unfolded outside park boundaries, we expect them to live up to that standard. The public deserves no less. As soon as we learned of this incident, we immediately placed the ranger on paid administrative leave and began our investigation..."
Refer below for Lawrence's Facebook post:
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