East Cleveland police take week to respond after shot hits woman’s house

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I -Team is investigating what happened when a woman called 911 after discovering a bullet had come into her living room, but police didn’t show up for a week.

Officers took a report and went to the scene to take pictures after the woman made a trip to police headquarters with FOX 8. The incident happened in East Cleveland.

Eloise Finklea said she heard gunshots outside her home on Mother’s Day evening. The next day, she realized at least one shot ripped through her house and into her living room. Finklea called 911 and a dispatcher said she’d send out police, but it never happened.

After days of waiting, Finklea turned to the I-Team for help finding out why.

When Finklea went to the police station, an officer there couldn’t explain the delay. A supervisor told the I-Team he could find no record of her call.

We went to see East Cleveland Mayor Brandon King. He immediately looked into it. The mayor found a dispatcher had failed to put the 911 call into the system to be handled.

When we asked what he’d say to the caller, King responded, "I would ask for her forgiveness and understanding. When we say ‘shots fired’ someone should respond.”

The mayor added East Cleveland police had responded the night of the shooting on the street within one minute after getting a call about the gunfire from someone else. He said the dispatcher who fumbled the call about the bullet in the living room was busy handing other emergencies when that call came in, but now she could face discipline.

Months ago, we revealed East Cleveland police failed to respond to a call for an elderly man being robbed.

"I know those policemen are overworked and it's a lot of crime. Kinda scary. But what am I to do?" Finklea said.