Caught on video: Customers help officer subdue irate man at Canton Walmart

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CANTON, Ohio-- The trouble began at a Walmart in Canton Sunday night when a man began shouting profanities in the self-checkout line.

A customer asked 40-year-old Vernon Harter, of Massillon, to stop cursing in front of children in the store. He responded by screaming at the customer.

That's when a Canton police officer working security confronted the irate man and asked him to leave. Police said Harter was combative and when the officer tried to arrest him, he resisted.

As the officer and suspect struggled, a group of other customers stepped in to help restrain Harter.

"We just asked if he needed help and he said 'Yes', and so that's when we jumped in and helped him out," Patrick Lykins said.

Lykins said he was concerned the suspect might get his hands on the officer's gun. He used two sets of the officer's handcuffs to restrain Harter.

Harter was arrested on charges including resisting arrest and obstructing official business. Court records indicated he pleaded no contest to the charges earlier this week and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. The judge suspended all but two of the days.

"We are very appreciative of those people to come forward. I believe that their help prevented the officer from being injured as well as the suspect from being injured in the struggle," Captain Dave Davis said.