‘It’s cruel; it’s evil:’ Family of man who died after assault at bus stop seeking justice

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland police are investigating the death of a 34-year-old man who was assaulted at an east side bus stop. Family of Dontez Curlee tells Fox 8 he passed away just one day after the attack on Thursday; it was his birthday.

Sunday, the victim’s family made a tearful plea to whoever is responsible for the act of violence that resulted in the loss of a father.

Cleveland police say the assault on the victim happened around 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Lee Road and Miles Avenue on January 21. According to family, Curlee was waiting for the bus after working for a short time that day at the Family Dollar store nearby.

"It's cruel; it's evil, just pure evil to do someone like that, pure evil,” said Jenita McDonall, who is the victim’s mother.

"He left work. He did a little shopping and he came to this bus stop right here. He was sitting here eating popcorn and talking on the phone."

Police say two men wearing dark clothing assaulted the victim, resulting in severe head trauma. He was taken to University Hospitals and spent time in the ICU before dying from his injuries.

"He died on his birthday. He just wanted to celebrate his birthday,” McDonall said.

"They took my baby from me for nothing, nothing."

Sunday evening, dozens of people gathered with candles and prayers at the bus stop, demanding justice.

"He was the protector of the family over us, over his nieces, nephews, mother, sister; he was the protector,” said his sister, Jaquetta Curlee.

There have been no arrests made in the case yet.