19 Investigates finds Cleveland Police took more than a half-hour to arrive on scene after deadly hit-and-run of child

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 10:40 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Just one station has learned it took Cleveland Police officers at least 34 minutes to respond to the hit and run that killed a 5-year-old little girl.

19 Investigates has been working to find out why ever since witnesses and neighbors questioned told our news team there was a delayed response back on April 23rd, when the hit and run happened on West 50th.

New bodycam video requested through public records by 19 News shows when the first officers arrived and 911 calls detail when the first radio traffic went out.

There’s also police body cam of an unapologetic 17-year-old female arrested after a witness told police the teen’s speeding car allegedly hit and then ran over 5-year-old Apolina Asumani as the little girl crossed the street. The driver took off from the scene, and tragically the little girl died at the hospital. The 17-year-old yells at police, “On my birthday too. Happy birthday (expletive)!”

Hours before on West 50th, 19 Investigates found it took Cleveland Police at least 34 minutes to respond. Dashcam video that is time-stamped confirms that the first officers arrived at 6:52 PM, and 911 calls show dispatchers were trying to get officers to the scene at 6:18 PM. That’s a 34-minute difference.

One male 911 caller says, “Well, we’ve been over here waiting on the police and nobody has showed up yet.”

A 911 dispatcher sounds somewhat distracted or overwhelmed as she works to get officers to West 50th, “Okay, okay. I am getting it. I am getting it over here. I think my brain is shut off.”

Concerned citizen San Pedro Garcia even took the initiative to block the street, and protect evidence as witnesses waited on police.

Garcia tells a Cleveland Police officer, “I just wanted to tell you we secured that (pointing to orange cones in the road) because it’s a crime scene.”

Leroy White who lives on West 50th and has a RING camera on his home provided video evidence of the dark-colored speeding car to officers and explained what happened.

A short time later a teen passenger in the car returned to West 50th, and led police to the suspect, saying the driver threatened her to keep quiet by putting a gun to her head.

In the police bodycam video where the teen suspect is arrested you hear her cry as she yells to police, “I hate you guys.” Court records show the teen suspected of the hit and run was behind the wheel of the car without a license and has a violent criminal history dating back to 13-years old. 19 News is not releasing her name because she is a minor. She remains in the custody of juvenile authorities and faces four criminal charges related to the hit and run, as well as possession of a gun.

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