Akron activists claiming police brutality in arrest

Activists allege Akron police brutality, police tell a different story Akron.

Some Akron community leaders are saying that the case of police brutality involves an elderly man in their city.

They allege when police arrested William "Yogi" Pryer at his home, there was unnecessary force used by the two officers responding to the call.

Pryer's daughter, Tisha Jerels, claims the man will need surgery due to three fractured facial bones and a busted eye socket.

The allegations stem from a dispute over the possession of a trailer. Pryer, who police say is 66, allegedly took a woman's trailer and then wouldn't speak with police when they came to inquire about the incident. Officials say the trailer was registered to the woman who complained.

According to the police report, two officers went to the home to meet the woman who called in about recovering her property.

When they got there, Pryer's fiance said he was resting and didn't want to speak; however, Pryer allegedly came to the balcony. Once he appeared, police say he told them he would speak with the woman on Monday about the property.

At that point, police say they requested Pryer talk with them about the incident. When Pryer became uncooperative, officials report they went inside.

Jerels previously told Channel 3 News that her father owns concession stands and rents trailers. Jerels alleges Pryer was simply reclaiming the trailer because the client had not paid him for it and that police did not have permission to enter his home because he was not in the wrong.

Police concede they did not have a warrant but had permission from Pryer's fiance to enter the home.

Both parties say the incident that left Pryer bloodied and bruised happened in the bedroom.

The Stop the Violence Akron movement president say police beat up Pryer.

"They entered his home ... and went in his bedroom and started to beat him ... and if his fiance hadn't said ... 'Stop, you're going to kill him' ... they probably would have killed him," Darrita Davis tells Channel 3's Hilary Golston.

However, Akron police Lt. Rick Edwards claims Pryer resisted police, and that's why officers had to use force in restraining him.

Edwards claims Pryer was accidentally caught on the side of the face with an officer's upper arm and that his officers called the paramedics. He says the man was only treated for a bloody nose.

"We're not out here just beating people up," Edwards said. "We're out here doing what we need to do. ... There were some actions on Mr. Pryer's part that created some of this altercation."

Police aren't saying Pryer won't be charged, but he hasn't been yet.

Golston spoke with Pryer twice over the phone.

He's not talking on camera on the advice of his attorney, who says Pryer is not well enough to be interviewed per doctor's orders.

Family members were also subsequently asked not to speak with the media.

Golston also spoke with the woman named in the police report. She does not want to be identified but corroborates what police say about the trailer belonging to her. The unidentified woman called police on Pryer.

The officers are still working and have not been put on administrative leave.

A rally was held Tuesday outside of Pryer's home to call attention to the issue of police brutality.


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