Woman assaulted at Cleveland bar, 15-year-old suspect arrested and released

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CLEVELAND - Cameras capture a chilling scene inside a Cleveland bar.  A bartender is robbed and sexually assaulted during a daytime hold up.

A teen suspect was arrested in connection with the case, but was soon let back onto the street.

"I don't know how they could let him go with robbing me at gunpoint and what he did, where's the justice?" said the 56-year old woman, who asked not to be identified.

It was around noon on Thursday.  She was opening 'The Closing Room,' a bar on Lorain Avenue near West 140th Street in Cleveland, when a young man walked in the front door.  The bar owner showed us surveillance video that captured the incident.

"He says 'can I stand in here a minute, it's cold outside' and I said 'sure' and he's standing by the door, I didn't think nothing of it," said the woman.

She says a few minutes later, the young man asked to use the bathroom and is seen on camera walking downstairs, then he returns.

"When I turned around, I had the gun to my face and I fell backwards against the bar between the bar stools and hit my head on the back of the bar," she added.

The video shows the suspect taking the woman behind the bar as she offers to give him whatever he wants.

"I was pleading for my life at that moment and all I could think about was my daughters and my grandchildren. I did not want to die that day," she said.

The video also shows the gunman taking the woman downstairs, she says he sexually assaulted her, then returned upstairs and took off with her car.

Cleveland police found the 15-year old suspect and arrested him that night, but he was released shortly after that.

"How somebody can be arrested for an offense of this magnitude and then be released within a 24 hour period is beyond my comprehension," said bar owner Michael Aybar.

A spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office tells Fox 8 that when police came to them, they did not have enough information to establish probable cause to hold the young suspect.  He says without that, there is no way to file a complaint.

"Now that he has been released, now I fear for my life," she said.

The spokesman for the prosecutor’s office says if formal charges are filed, the teenager could be re-arrested.  A police source tells Fox 8 that the teen may also be linked to robberies at other businesses in the area.

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