Driver Runs Down Deputy, U of A Student Outside McDonald’s

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AKRON, Ohio-- Investigators with the Summit County Sheriff's Office are trying to identify the driver of an SUV who appears to have intentionally hit a University of Akron student and an off-duty deputy who was working a side job at an Exchange Street McDonald's Restaurant.

The incident happened at about 3 a.m. on Sunday, April 13.

Deputy Ryan Knight said the deputy was working security, trying to break up several fights outside of the McDonald's near the campus of the University of Akron.

Surveillance video shows the SUV racing in the wrong direction around the building and through the drive-through lane.

The driver first hits a student, throwing him to the curb then appears to take aim for the deputy who was trying to detain a person involved in one of the fights.

"It looked, according to what we have seen, it looked as if he swerved right into him," said Knight.

"You could see he drove right into one of the guys. Our deputy was trying to break up the fight, drove right into both of them, knocked that deputy eight feet in the air, ten feet down the sidewalk," said deputy Bron Thomas.

Investigators said the SUV raced away so fast that cameras could not even capture its image as it left travelling westbound on Exchange Street.

From surveillance video the vehicle is believed to be a GMC type midsize SUV, possibly a Chevy Blazer, GMC Jimmy, Durango, or Bravada.

The color is difficult to distinguish but is believed to be a bronze or gold to a "grayish" color.

Investigators said it appears it was driven by a male and that there was a female passenger.

Surveillance video also shows several other people talking with the driver before the incident.

Sheriff Steve Barry said the driver had to know he hit someone.

"They didn't make any attempt to slow down or stop to make sure everybody is okay. They know what they have done is wrong," said Summit County Sheriff's Office Inspector Bill Holland.

Both the deputy and the student who were hit were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and will be okay.

A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and arraignment of the people responsible.