Here is a summary of Sgt. Bob Post’s account of what happened in an incident involving him and Mayor James Armstrong on Dec. 3, 2017. Post spoke with Lt. Michael Lowe, who investigated the case for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office:
Post told Lowe he pulled into the city hall parking lot on Dec. 3 to eat his lunch and saw Armstrong and two officers talking in the lot. In the report, Post told Lowe it is "not uncommon" for him to eat his lunch in the police station parking lot. He said he saw the two officers leave and the mayor walked toward his truck. Post said he rolled down his window and said "’hey mayor,’ or something to that effect," the report said.
After that, Post told Lowe "everything kinda shocked me." Post said he believes Armstrong said to him "Do you have something to say to me?" and then continued to stare at him. Post said he asked Armstrong "what" and said Armstrong repeated "Do you have something to say to me?"
"Sergeant Post stated he was shocked because the mayor kept staring at him and he could tell the mayor was getting more aggressive by the way he was standing there," the report stated. "Sergeant Post stated he felt he was at the point of something bad happening and didn’t want to get in a position where he couldn’t defend himself."
Post said he asked the mayor "why are you looking at me like that?" and when the mayor continued to stand at his window, Post said he repeated the question.
Post told Lowe "I’m thinking, I can tell when a punch is coming, just from being in life for 61 years, I’m getting pretty good at telling what is going to happen." Post also said he felt Armstrong was "so irate, amped up, that it was possible."
Post told Lowe he turned a little bit sideways and said: "You can’t look at me like that, I didn’t do anything to you." Post said Armstrong stepped back, grabbed his phone and said "really." Armstrong then got on his phone and Post said he rolled up his window.
Post said he tried to make several phone calls and then Armstrong walked back to his window and knocked on it loudly. Post said he held his hand up to indicate he was on the phone. Moments later, Post said Armstrong returned and "whacked his knuckles on the window," the report said.
Post told Lowe, "…I don't know if it’s going to break my window or what. It was a hard knock on my window."
Post said he never got off the phone and didn’t roll down his window because he was trying to "de-escalate this cause I knew it was to the point something bad was going to happen, whether he was going to do something to me, I didn’t want to get into that."
Post said he then saw two police cars pull in, the mayor walked around in the parking lot a little bit and Post said he left the parking lot later.
While he was still in the parking lot, Post told Lowe that he tried to call Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and got no answer. He said he then called his son to tell him what happened. Post noted he was not connected with anyone on the phone while the mayor was standing outside his truck window.
Lowe wrote he asked Post what may have prompted the exchange with Armstrong. In the report, Lowe wrote, "Sergeant Post stated he has asked himself the same question, but states he made a comment in the paper about not being in agreement about the pending contracts which would promote part time sergeants. I asked Sergeant Post if he felt being part of contract negotiations with the mayor may have led to this disagreement or misunderstanding and Sergeant Post stated he did. Sergeant Post stated he at no point had a bad feeling against the mayor over the contract."
Post said he has not had any other negative interactions with Armstrong. Post said he has never taken orders from the mayor and added he was not on duty on Dec. 3.
In the report, Lowe said he asked Post why, "if he felt the mayor was going to threaten him, he did not leave the parking lot instead of continuing to stay. Sergeant Post stated when he (Mayor) got on the phone, he was in shock over the incident and didn’t want to be disrespectful and leave that lot, but also did not want to roll his window down. Sergeant Post states while speaking to his son, his son advised him he should just leave and Sergeant Post states that is when he made the decision to leave. I asked him if he felt he was in trouble during the incident and he stated he did not, he felt threatened."