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Man, 72, in critical condition after scuffle with officer



Published: Mon, July 16, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both the man, who is in critical condition, and the officer fell to the ground during the struggle, reports say.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Relatives of a 72-year-old man involved in a confrontation with a city police officer Friday afternoon said they were planning to meet with the NAACP today to discuss the event.

Booker Mitchell, 72, of 1417 Shehy St., on the city's East Side, was in critical condition this morning in Northside Medical Center with injuries stemming from the confrontation.

NAACP officials could not be reached for comment this morning. Police Chief Richard Lewis said no complaint had been filed as of this morning, but the matter has been turned over to the internal affairs division for review. The chief said he wants all the facts surrounding the event before commenting publicly.

What was reported: Mitchell, who is black, was arrested Friday afternoon in a North Garland Avenue parking lot on charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and resisting arrest. He was taken to Northside by a family member after he was released from jail.

Police reports say Mitchell argued with Officer Michael Walker, who is also black, Friday afternoon about having a car towed. The car was driven by Mattie Mitchell, Booker's wife, who was charged with DUI after she backed into two parked cars in the lot on North Garland Avenue.

Police reports say she was too drunk to give details of the accident to officers.

Three other Shehy Street residents were in the car when the accident occurred. Two of them -- Retina and Natasha Daniels, both of 1527 Shehy St. -- were treated at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Booker Mitchell repeatedly swore at Walker during the argument, according to reports. Walker told Mitchell that if he continued to use foul language, he would be arrested.

However, Mitchell told Walker, "It's my ... car and I'll take it wherever I want."

Arrest: The reports say Walker then placed a "firm hand" on Mitchell and said he was under arrest.

But Mitchell "lashed back," the reports say, and a struggle ensued. Both Mitchell and Walker fell to the ground during the struggle.

Walker said he used pepper spray before placing handcuffs on Mitchell.




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