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‘He Was a Big Guy’: Ohio White Man Arrested on Charges of Punching a Black Woman and Dragging Her By Her Hair In the Streets; Officials Consider Ethnic Intimidation Charge

An Ohio white man is accused of verbally assaulting a Black woman with racial epithets in a Highland Square in Akron on Sunday, Feb. 27. After a video of the incident went public, the Kent native was arrested and charged with carrying a gun during the altercation.

Cameron Morgan, a 23-year-old African-American woman, reported being punched in the face by Andrew Walls, a 26-year-old white man. She claims that before he struck her, bruising her lip, he called her a racial slur.  

Andrew Walls (Video Screenshot)

As a result of him hitting her, Morgan says that she has sustained a concussion, “He was a big guy.”

Walls has been charged with being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated and assaulting Morgan on Sunday after she and her friends left a local nightclub. When the friends left the party, they noticed that a group of men was fighting on the sidewalk.

She said, “They’re all screaming.”

During the melee, she said she heard one of the men using a racial slur and assessed that since she was the only Black person in the vicinity, he must have been hurling it at her.

“I’m the only Black person around. I didn’t know who he was talking to, but he was calling white people a racial slur,” she remembered. “I was like, ‘Who talks like that? You can’t say that. That is not OK.’” 

“We were in the most friendly neighborhood in Akron and he was, like, screaming all these racial slurs. I was looking at him, he just made eye contact with me, and started calling me a racial slur. And then just literally punched me in my face.”

After the altercation, her friends hurried to get her away from danger. Later, on Sunday, Morgan and her father filed a report with Akron police, where they issued an assault warrant for the suspect.

By this time police had already identified Walls as the man in the video, and the person that, her father claims, pulled her by the hair into the street after busting her lip. 

Capt. Dave Laughlin revealed Walls turned himself in at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 28, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. An investigation that included officials reviewing a now-viral video of the incident, prompted law enforcement to hit him with an additional assault charge.

Many have seen the footage of this weekend’s fight and assault.

At the beginning of the video, several fights are being had. One man is being held by his neck against the wall of the building and viewers can see the back of the man who was doing the choking.

Past those two men, another man knocks Walls so hard that he falls to the ground. When he falls, according to police, he can be heard shouting derogatory terms about people’s race.

The video shows the alleged suspect getting up and walking up to Morgan, a bystander watching the commotion. He also starts to point at her, and says, “What’s up? (Racial slur) b****, shut your mouth.”

The Beacon Journal reports that witnesses saw a gun tucked in Walls’ belt, under his shirt. 

 People also tried to stop him from going after the woman saying, “That’s a woman, you don’t ******* hit a woman.”

Because the women did not stay, the officers were not able to piece together who did what and who was hurt during the brawl. Officers arrived on the 800 block of West Market Street, the scene of the crime, around 12:30 a.m., after responding to a report that up to five people were engaged with fighting.

However, when they arrived everyone had left and the street was almost empty, Akron police Lt. Mike Miller stated.

One person remained … Walls. He was there and claimed that he had been victimized. 

The video shows that he was indeed assaulted, but that he was also a perpetrator of injury on a young Black woman. Because he brought race into his assault by using the expletive, he may also face a possible ethnic intimidation charge. 

Another move that could increase the severity of the charges is how impacted the woman was by the assault. If the concussion claim can be validated, the assault charge could quickly change into a felonious assault count.

The young lady spoke to ABC 5 about the assault and said she never expected to be in the middle of the street fight.

“We’re just walking, crossing the street, and we hear this whole fight going on between, I’d say, approximately three to four grown men, and we’re just like, ‘Wow, someone’s going to get beat up,'” Morgan said. 

“Little did we know that person was about to be me.”

Over the past two days, a 2019 photograph has emerged linking Walls with the radical white supremacist group, the Proud Boys.

One of the individuals in the picture has an uncanny resemblance to Walls at a Beto O’Rourke presidential stop at Kent State’s campus. Walls, who if this is him identified himself as the vice president of the Akron/Canton Chapter of the Proud Boys, is manning a table with guns on top of it to spark conversations about gun rights. The purpose of this staged action is to counter O’Rourke’s gun control platform.

“It’s obviously an angle we’re pursuing to see if there’s any link to gang activity,” The Captain stated, noting that the picture and the man they have in custody look “awfully similar.” 

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