DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A suburban Cleveland woman claims she had to go to the hospital after being attacked and robbed Friday in a downtown Cleveland parking garage.
The incident allegedly happened at the Halle Brothers Parking garage in the 1200 block of Huron on Friday afternoon. The victim, who did not want to be identified, told Cleveland 19 she drove into the garage Friday afternoon at about 1:30 p.m., and noticed a young man riding a bike.
"I drove up the ramp and I saw what seemed to be a boy on a bike coming down at the same time. He did a wheelie, and it was just strange, I thought, 'Why is there a bike in here?'" the victim said.
She said she continued driving, parked in a space, got out of her car, and came face to face with a man she said she will never forget.
"He was right there right in my face, like eye to eye, 'Give me your money.' I said no, and I just started screaming and he punched me in the face and I fell down and I was trying to struggle and he took my head and slammed it up against one of those big poles in the Halle building, and I just kept holding onto my purse and pulling and pulling and pulling," said the victim. "I kicked him and I just remember seeing his brown cargo shorts and I'll never forget he said, 'Why are you screaming?' It was just really frightening."
She said she wanted to continue fighting him, but her purse strap eventually broke and he left with it.
"It caught me off guard. I just really wanted to fight him. I really feel like I could have fought him harder but he overpowered me," she said. "I won't forget his eyes. (They were) brown and just mean."
She has scrapes, bumps and bruises, and several days later still has a terrible headache. She refused medical services on the scene but went to the emergency room Monday to get checked out.
She said she lost credit cards and identification, but also lost things like her cell phone, and pictures of her kids.
She said she's scared to go back to the garage, and hope the company makes changes.
"It's just scary. I hope they ramp up security cause I need to just go back to work," said the victim.
Cleveland 19 went to the garage to see if any new security measures had been put in place since Friday. A Cleveland 19 news crew walked into the garage and filmed for between 15 and 20 minutes, and even took pictures of the surveillance cameras, but saw no security.
The news crew walked up to the parking attendant at the front of the garage, who said that the garage does have bike racks, so they allow bikes on the property, and they also have day-of parking for the public. She directed Cleveland 19 to contact security.
Cleveland 19 tried to use an intercom to call security at the parking garage, but no one answered multiple pages.
The news crew was about to go find a security guard when one approached, saying he couldn't answer any questions. He wouldn't answer questions about any possible upgrades to security since the incident, or if anyone monitors the surveillance cameras.
The security guard told Cleveland 19 to reach out to the corporate offices for K and D, the company that owns the property. A representative from K and D said that company has owned the building for about three years and has never had an incident like the one that happened Friday. The representative went on to say that they have since shifted some of the schedules of the parking attendants so there's more of a visible presence at the lot, and a company representative plans to meet with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and the Cleveland Police Department this week to see if anything can be done to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Police hope that anyone with information on the suspect, or the incident, will contact investigators at 216-623-5318.