CUYAHOGA FALLS — The trial of an Akron man who allegedly injured a police officer by crashing into his cruiser in 2016 will wait a bit longer to begin, if it goes forward at all.
Bridget Walters, bailiff for Summit County Common Pleas Judge Jason Wells, said that the trial for 47-year-old Donald R. Watson, which was supposed to have begun Monday, was canceled at the request of the defense. A status hearing is scheduled for March 20 at 1 p.m., during which a new trial date is expected to be scheduled, but a plea is also possible, said Walters.
In a motion filed March 7, John Greven, Watson’s attorney, requested the cancelation because, "the additional time is needed for a possible resolution."
Watson is charged with nine counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault, all first-degree felonies, seven counts of second-degree felony assault and one count each of aggravated arson and assaulting or harassing a police dog or horse, both second-degree felonies, third-degree felony failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, fourth-degree felony vandalism and first-degree misdemeanor criminal damaging. He is being held in Summit County Jail on a 10 percent of $750,000 bond.
Cuyahoga Falls police said Watson allegedly drove into the police department’s parking lot on July 23, 2016 and ran into parked patrol vehicles, causing significant damage to three police vehicles. Police said the vehicles included a K-9 car with the dog in it. The dog was uninjured, said police.
Watson then fled the scene, with officers in pursuit. During the pursuit, police said Watson crossed over into the lane of Patrolman Ted Davis and allegedly struck his patrol vehicle on purpose.
Davis was taken to a hospital with serious injuries to a lung, kidney and his spleen. Davis also suffered a fractured pelvis. The hospital subsequently released Davis to a rehabilitation facility, from which he was soon sent home to recuperate. Davis returned to work in December 2016.
According to the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, the arson charge is in connection with an allegation that Watson also set fire to his Akron home.
Editor’s note: Reporters Phil Keren and Steve Wiandt contributed to this story.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.