AKRON, Ohio — An Akron police officer with a history of misconduct toward the public has resigned amid allegations he used excessive force while removing a man from a bar.
The Nov. 4 incident went unreported for three months and was found only by chance when Akron police brass came across the video while investigating an unrelated car crash.
Because of the delay and the lack of a formal complaint, police say the alleged victim apparently does not know about the investigation or the officer’s subsequent resignation.
Patrolman Mark Northup, an 11-year veteran, was seen on his body camera throwing the man to the ground face first after he was removed from a bar. The man sustained minor facial injuries.
However, based on his history and what a police major called a developing pattern of misconduct, Northup recently resigned.
Maj. Mike Caprez said Northup would have likely been terminated had he not submitted his resignation.
“We feel he did violate the public trust with regard to how we want to interact with the community,” Caprez said Thursday. “Ultimately, it was in the best interest of the department [that Northup resigned] because my belief is that if everything resolved the way we thought it would, we would have moved for dismissal.”
Efforts to reach Northup were unsuccessful.
The event happened in the early morning hours of Nov. 4 inside the Euro Gyro on East Exchange St., a bar located near the University of Akron campus.
Northup walked inside the bar looking for witnesses to a car crash when he was immediately approached by a woman who claimed the man was groping her.
“He’s gotta go. He’s all touching me and [expletive],” the woman told Northup.
The officer approached the man and told him to leave. After questioning the officer for a reason, Northup erupted.
“Get out now!” he shouted.
He then grabbed the man and walked him toward the exit.
“I’m going. I’m going,” the man told Northup.
As they reached the doorway, Northup can be heard asking a group of people to clear the way.
“Will you guys move for a second? Step aside for a second,” Northup said politely.
At they move, Northup launched the man out the door. The man landed face-first into the sidewalk. His face was bloody and Northup helped him up. The officer then handcuffed the man and waited for paramedics.
Northup would tell investigators that the man “tripped” while exiting. The officer also gave various accounts of why he muted his body camera.
After the man was examined, Northup tried to get him a ride home. Eventually, the officer agreed to drive the man to an apartment on nearby South Street where his sister, a UA freshman, lived.
The man, who was not identified by the city, never filed a complaint against the officer and was never questioned again by Akron police during the course of their investigation.
Police only learned about the incident by chance on Jan. 30.
Caprez said Northup’s job evaluations rated him an “average” officer.
“There’s some instances where he hasn’t treated people very well and he’s been disciplined for that,” Caprez said without elaboration. “It looked like a pattern developed there and it didn’t really fit our profile.”
The man injured by Northup could still file a complaint or a lawsuit against the department based on Northup’s conduct.
“If he comes forward and wants us to look into what happened to him, we’d be happy to do that,” Caprez said.