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Dozens of Cleveland police officers attend Little League game for son of dispatcher killed in crash

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 10:27 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On Wednesday evening, a Brooklyn father and Cleveland police dispatcher died in a car crash.

“I’m just gonna try and make my dad proud and win and hit a home run,” said Lukas Martinez, the dispatcher’s son.

It’s only been about 24 hours since 8-year-old Lukas Martinez lost his dad, 30-year-old Alex Martinez Jr., but he said he wanted to come out to Terminal Park in Cleveland Thursday for his Championship Little League game, and he wanted to play in honor of his father.

“It’s still hard, but I don’t think we can ever get past it,” said Ismael Perez, Martinez’s best friend and assistant Little League coach. “I mean, yeah, cause it’s never gonna be the same. He was always the glue that keeps us together. We were always staying in touch every day; it’s gonna be really hard.”

Cleveland police told 19 News the crash involved three cars. It happened on Chester Avenue at around 6:30 Wednesday evening. Martinez was taken to the hospital, where he died. Two others were also taken to the hospital.

“Like I said, I never expected it,” said Perez. “It was a regular day, and we get a call that he got into an accident and just died.”

Coworkers said the Brooklyn father of two was headed to work when the crash happened. Dozens of police officers came out to show their solidarity at Lukas’ Little League game on Thursday.

“When officers lose their lives in the line of duty and stuff you know you always see like the parades and memorials and stuff, and with dispatch, we don’t really get that, and this was kind of the closest thing to us losing one of our own on the way to work kind of our version of end of watch,” explained Craig Kandiko, a Cleveland Police Dispatcher.

Martinez also leaves behind a four-year-old daughter.

“He really loved us so much,” said Leah Martinez.

Another Cleveland police dispatcher is having shirts made in honor of Martinez. All the money raised will go to the family. You can buy one here.

30-year-old Alex Martinez Jr. died in a crash Wednesday night. On Thursday his son played in...
30-year-old Alex Martinez Jr. died in a crash Wednesday night. On Thursday his son played in and won his Little League Championship in honor of his dad.(Melody Martinez)

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