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Akron police make arrests in melee near campus

Beacon Journal staff report

Akron police have made three arrests for a drunken melee that included revelers hurling bottles and cans at police officers and tipping over a car.

One of the men was arrested on the morning of the incident, while two more were charged after being identified through social media sites from video of the incident, said Capt. Dan Zampelli.

Timothy Wallette II, 22, of Mentor, who is listed as a student but his university isn’t identified, was charged with failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.

He was arrested when he refused to leave after the incident, which occurred late on Aug. 31 and early Sept. 1 in the 400 block of Sumner Street. Wallette pleaded guilty and paid fines and court costs.

Zampelli said Wallette had nothing to do with tipping over the car.

Nathan Knutty, 21, of Massillon, a University of Akron student, and Ryan Malecha, 19, of Litchfield Township, were charged with riot and will be arraigned Friday in Akron Municipal Court.

Zampelli said additional charges could be filed against Knutty and Malecha for the damage to the vehicle.

“This isn’t it,” Zampelli said. “We’re going to try to identify others involved in this riot. If we can identify them, they will be charged as well.”

Late on Aug. 31 and early Sept. 1, a crowd along Sumner Street swelled to more than 1,000.

When officers arrived, many threw beer bottles and cans at them.

The crowd also vandalized a car, eventually tipping it over. About 50 city and UA officers donned riot gear and used tear gas to disperse the revelers.

The party was an apparently an offshoot of “Sumner Fest,” an annual, unofficial celebration loosely organized by students to celebrate the start of fall classes.

It is named after Sumner Street, which runs south of campus off East Exchange Street.

Police have beefed up patrols in the residential area around the university since the incident happened, hoping to prevent a repeat of the Sumner Fest incident. Zampelli said the increased patrols will continue.

“We will do a lot of preventative patrolling to keep things from getting out of hand,” he said.


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