AKRON, Ohio — Political differences might have contributed to a confrontation outside of a voting location leading to an assault charge against a man accused of throwing a cup of coffee at a Republican Party campaign volunteer.
Voter turnout across Summit County was just over 71 percent according to the Summit County Board of Elections. Many of the county’s polling locations were very busy early Tuesday morning, including the Kiwanis Hall on Portage Lakes Boulevard in Coventry Township.
“People are waiting in long lines which don’t generally help people’s temper and their patience. So they are waiting in long lines, the traffic getting in and out of the places was very difficult in some points and just the sheer mass of people with different views on politics or whatever, some tempers started to flare,” said Summit County Sheriff’s Office Inspector Bill Holland.
Holland says before 9 a.m. a volunteer representing the Summit County Republican Party had set up beyond a marked 100-foot line to campaign when a man started shouting obscenities at him from his vehicle.
According to Holland, the shouting continued but the volunteer told the man that he was legally entitled to campaign where he was and that’s when a cup of hot coffee was thrown at him.
A deputy assigned to the location responded immediately and charged 58-year-old John Pegley with a misdemeanor count of assault.
The volunteer, who asked FOX 8 news not to identify him, says he is “shocked and saddened by what happened.” He added only that he simply wants the legal process to run its course.
Pegley is scheduled to appear in Barberton Municipal court later this month.