Euclid man faces multiple charges for police chase that critically injured baby

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 6:47 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 3:29 PM EDT
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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A 61-year-old Euclid man is now facing multiple charges for a Feb. 22 police chase that ended in a crash which critically injured a baby girl.

According to East Cleveland police, Daryl Brown was drunk when he crashed into a car near Happy’s Pizza in the 14000 block of Euclid Ave. around 10 p.m. on Feb. 22.

Daryl Brown
Daryl Brown((Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff))

Police said Brown then fled the scene and refused to pull over for East Cleveland officers.

During the chase, Brown allegedly ran a red light, causing a three-vehicle crash at Euclid Avenue and UH Drive a short time later.

Mom Lexis Crowell, 29, was driving one of the vehicles involved in the crash at Euclid Avenue and UH Drive. The impact pushed Crowell’s vehicle into a tree in the center island of the road and knocked her unconscious.

Crowell’s 11-month-old daughter. Lotus Legaci Love Jones, was in her car seat in the backseat.

Lotus, who will celebrate her first birthday on March 15, remains in the ICU at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

According to family, Lotus is expected to spend the next several months hospitalized as she heals.

19 News is encouraging our audience to join us in wishing Lotus a very happy birthday.

The third car, a Nissan Altima, was driven by a 38-year-old man. He was treated for minor injuries at University Hospitals, according to police.

Brown is charged with OVI, aggravated vehicular assault, felonious assault and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.

He is being held on a $250,000 bond at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center and his case is pending before the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury.

New information about the crash

19 News learned another mother and her toddler were also involved in the crash that took place.

This woman was trying to stop the driver, who police said was drunk. It all started as a hit skip.

The woman told police a man hit her car while she was driving with her two-year-old inside near Happy’s Pizza on Euclid Ave in East Cleveland.

She started following that driver.

She called 911 and told dispatchers she believed he was drunk.

“Y’all need to come and get him. He just hit me and my baby,” she said on the 911 call.

She kept following the driver, as he headed toward University Hospitals.

She stayed on the phone, providing dispatchers information.

“Ma’am, we already have this information and you don’t want to keep following him,” a dispatcher responded to her.

But she continued to follow the driver, even as police officers got involved and pursued him.

It ended with the crash and four people hurt, as we described above.

East Cleveland Police pursuits

19 Investigates found the East Cleveland Police Department has the same pursuit policy it has had since 2017.

In this case, it appears officers followed that policy.

Officers noted traffic conditions and who else was on the road several times, according to the police report, 911 calls and radio traffic.

Officers involved also said the driver was a threat to the public and himself.

We just received these latest pursuit numbers from East Cleveland Police Chief Brian J. Gerhard:

2022: Jan. 1 to Aug. 28 Pursuit total = 149 (previous Chief Scott Gardner)

2022: Aug. 29 to Dec. 31 Pursuit total = 31 (under Chief Brian J. Gerhard)

2023: Jan. 1 to Mar. 15 Pursuit total = 10