NewsLocal NewsAkron Canton News


Man captured on video yelling racial slur before assaulting woman in Akron turns himself in

Akron Highland Square racial assault
Posted at 12:30 PM, Feb 28, 2022

AKRON, Ohio — A 26-year-old man, identified as Andrew Walls, of Kent, who was wanted for assault after video captured him in Akron's Highland Square neighborhood allegedly yelling a racial slur at a woman before hitting her in the face has turned himself into the Akron Police Department.

Just after midnight on Feb. 27, police were called to the 800 block of West Market Street for a report of a fight that had resulted in injuries. By the time officers arrived, the fight had ended, but two men said that they had been jumped by a "bunch of people" who fled the scene. The two men did not seek medical attention nor did they file a report.

But later that day, 23-year-old Cameron Morgan contacted police to report an assault during the fight and provided video of the attack.

Man captured on video yelling racial slur before assaulting woman in Akron

The video shows five people against the wall of Highland Tavern, seeming to be in a scuffle as they yell at each other, and one man is shoved back. That man stands up and yells a racial slur and profanity as he stumbles over to another group that was behind the camera. According to the cell phone video, the man that police identified as Walls throws his hands up and begins pointing at Morgan. The man calls her a racial epithet again, as well as another derogatory term, before telling her to "shut your mouth."

The video shows the man identified as Walls bring his fist back and strike Morgan in the mouth.

After Walls allegedly punched Morgan, other bystanders can be seen rushing up and hitting the man, while yelling at him, "That's a woman, you don't ******* hit a woman."

One of the men that came to Morgan's defense then began to scuffle with the suspect. Once the two men began fighting on the concrete, Morgan can be seen striking the man that police identified as Walls twice in the head before she is slung down onto the ground by her hair.

Morgan spoke to News 5 through a sore jaw and detailed the incident on Sunday. She said the group was headed to a bar past where the men were fighting, and as they got closer to the incident they could hear the man who would end up assaulting Morgan yelling racial slurs at the other men in the altercation.

"[I thought] someone is going to get beat up. Little did I know that person was going to be me," Morgan said. "Something just triggered him because he looked at me dead in the eye and called me an n-word slur and sucker punched me right in the mouth."

While Morgan said none of the men involved in the fight were people of color, hearing the vulgarity of the slurs was too much for her to ignore.

"I stand up for what I believe in always. I do what’s right. I stand up for people that are too afraid to stand up for themselves," Morgan said. "I just looked at him and I [asked him], 'why are you talking like this? You cannot talk like that. I was like, 'This is stupid, please don't talk like that.'"

Morgan said when the man heard her ask him to stop using racial slurs, something "just triggered him."

"He looked me dead in the eye and called me the n-word slur and then sucker-punches me right in the mouth," Morgan said. "I am in complete shock. I got hit. I kind of blacked out for a second, and I snapped back and I just held my hands to my mouth because I was bleeding."

The altercation didn't end there, with Morgan attempting to fight back and the man grabbing onto her hair, which was styled in a bun, and dragging her as the group she was with rushed to get him off of her. Side scuffles continued on the sidewalk and in the street before the video ends.

After the fight ended, Morgan went home and, while flustered, felt okay. But when she woke up, the pain set in, and she decided to go to the hospital for evaluation. Morgan says she was diagnosed with a concussion. The inside of her lip was split open, and she said she is struggling to open her jaw due to the pain.

The video was viewed by the Akron Police Department, which prompted the department to issue a warrant for a 26-year-old man, identified as Walls, wanted on a misdemeanor assault charge and one count of possession of a weapon while intoxicated.

Police said Walls turned himself in without incident on Monday afternoon. According to court records, an additional charge of misdemeanor assault was filed on Monday.

"He was armed, and it just could have been way worse. I'm just so happy nothing ended with a fatality," Morgan said.

In 2019, Walls described himself to the Record-Courier as the vice president of the Akron/Canton chapter of the Proud Boys, an alt-right, exclusively male extremist group known for promoting and engaging in political violence. Walls was on the campus of Kent State with a display of weapons to protest a visit from Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.

Andrew Walls
Andrew Walls, vice president of the Akron/Canton chapter of the Proud Boys, had a display set up and was talking to students before the Presidential Candidate Beto O-Rourke event on the Kent State Campus. (Sept. 25, 2019)

Despite the pain, Morgan said she's glad that action is being taken against her attacker.

"Honestly, I'm just so glad that something's going to happen, that he's not getting away with this," Morgan said. "I'm just very overwhelmed with everything cause I feel like I could have handled the situation a little better, maybe stood up for myself a little more, but I did the best I could."

Morgan hopes that people who see the video of the assault, which has gone viral on numerous social media platforms, use the incident to recognize hate and motivate them to be better people.

"I'm just going to try to do my best and just spread love and just bring awareness to situations like this because it happens every single day, and 9 times out of 10 it goes unnoticed," Morgan said. "It's heavy. So what's next is to get justice. That's all we can do in the end is get justice."

Walls is scheduled to be arraigned at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.