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Akron man arraigned on charges in crash that injured Cuyahoga Falls police officer

by Steve Wiandt | reporter Published: August 14, 2016 12:00 AM
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An Akron man who is facing attempted murder and other felony charges in connection with an incident that injured a Cuyahoga Falls police officer remained in Summit County Jail as of Aug. 11.

Donald R. Watson Jr. of Akron had a video arraignment from Summit County Jail before Stow Municipal Court Judge Lisa Coates Aug. 8.

Watson, 46, is charged with attempted murder, felonious assault of a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding in connection with the crash that injured Cuyahoga Falls Police patrol officer Ted Davis July 23.

Judge Coates said she was entering a technical not guilty plea and added she was going to "set this matter down for felony status." Watson is scheduled for a felony status hearing before Judge Kim Hoover on Aug. 17, according to court records.

She said she would appoint him an attorney and set bond at $750,000 cash. Coates further ordered if Watson posts bond he is to be placed under electronically monitored house arrest.

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"These are serious matters," Coates said at the close of the hearing, "so bond is going to remain high at this juncture based on the safety of others."

Watson had not posted bond as of Aug. 11, according to a court official.

Watson walked with the aid of a metal walker when he came into view on the video screen in the arraignment courtroom in Stow. He said he didn't own any property or have a job. He also told the judge he was not on parole for any past offense.

Watson is accused of driving into the Cuyahoga Falls Police parking lot and running into parked patrol vehicles on July 23 at approximately 1:18 a.m., according to a police department press release. Watson allegedly caused significant damage to three police vehicles, according to the press release.

Watson then fled the scene and officers began to pursue his vehicle, according to police. During the pursuit, police say Watson crossed over into the lane of an assisting officer, Ptl. Davis, purposely striking his patrol vehicle.

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Davis was taken to the hospital. He sustained serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The hospital subsequently released Davis to a rehabilitation facility. He was soon sent home to recuperate.

Watson also was taken to the hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.

The incident remains under investigation and additional charges may be requested, the release said.

Injured officer thanks colleagues, community

Ptl. Davis shared his thoughts in a lengthy statement posted on the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department's Facebook page on Aug. 5.

"I have either lived or worked in Cuyahoga Falls my entire life," said Ptl. Davis via the Facebook post. "I can't think of a better city to be a part of. The reaction of the residents of this city has been absolutely overwhelming. I truly appreciate all the letters, cards, and phone calls. My wife and I read every single card and treasured every one of them. I am proud to be a police officer in this great city. I would also like to thank you for supporting the police department in general. I know my fellow officers and I appreciate the blue lights, the police banners, and the letters that are sent to us daily. Thank you!"

Ptl. Davis then thanked the police chief, the mayor, his fellow police officers, the fire chief, Akron City Hospital and its rehabilitation center, as well as family members, friends and other community organizations and police departments who supported him.

"Again on behalf of my wife and my two boys, thank you all for your prayers, love and support," Ptl. Davis concluded. "I look forward to coming back to work as soon as possible."

Email: swiandt@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9420

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