Metro Parks ranger on leave after incident with elderly couple

AKRON -- An elderly couple roughed up and handcuffed for honking their horn at a Summit Metro Parks ranger has hired an attorney.

Carl and Margaret Wilson say they were driving on Newton Street, near Goodyear Heights Park, when they honked at, and went around, the park ranger.

They say the ranger followed them home, threw Carl on the ground, kicked Margaret and handcuffed them both.

"We sincerely regret that this has happened. The trust of the public is of great value to us and we intend to maintain that so we'll be doing everything in our power to do that," said Lisa King, Executive Director of Summit Metro Parks.

The ranger has been placed on paid administrative leave while the parks conduct an investigation.

According to his personnel file, the ranger has been with the park service for three years and has had no major problems.

"He has a good record with us. He's 33 years old. He's been with us since 2014, so he's been with us for several years.  It's just regrettable that this has happened," King said.

The Wilsons hired Bill Price of the firm Elk & Elk to represent them. Price said their first priority is to make sure the Wilsons recover from their injuries.

"Speaking to them, you can hear it in their voice.  They are very nervous, a lot of anxiety, almost to a certain degree a little scared," Price said.

Price told FOX8 they will cooperate with the investigation and then they will do their own.

The Ohio Patrolman's Benevolent Association, the union the ranger is a member of, released a statement that said they support the investigation and believe the ranger will be cleared when it is complete.