A Summit Metro Parks ranger has been fired for violating procedures and using excessive force during a confrontation with an elderly couple last month.
The couple, Carl ,72, and Margaret Wilson, 72, said the incident occurred when they honked their vehicle's horn at Ranger Jeffrey Axner to move around his vehicle. Axner stated in the incident report that it was “suspicious” and attempted a traffic stop that ended in the couple's driveway.
"He says, 'get out of the truck, get on the ground'," said Carl to WKYC Channel 3's Amani Abraham. "I haven’t done nothing wrong. Blowing the horn? Is that a felony?"
Carl said he asked Axner why he was being stopped, but didn’t get an answer. He said the ranger then pulled him from his truck and forced him to the ground.
"He puts me in a choke-hold and throws me on the ground and put handcuffs on me," Carl added.
Axner's account states that Margaret was holding an 18-inch wooden bat over her head. Axner stated that he had asked her to step back, threatening her with the use of pepper spray.
"I had a little old bat, but I wasn’t go to hit him," Margaret said.
"He said that was a weapon, then runs and kicks her," said Carl as he fought back tears. "That was uncalled for. No one has a right to beat on a woman."
Another park ranger was called to the scene and an Akron Police officer also responded.
The couple was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing official business, aggravated menacing and failure to comply.
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