CLEVELAND-- The Cleveland Division of Police is working to identify two suspects who stole a vehicle and dragged a boy along with it last month.
Two males jumped into the car while the vehicle's owner, Ebony Montgomery, was paying at the Marathon gas station at East 116th Street and Shaker Boulevard on Nov. 18. According to the police report, Montgomery's 10-year-old son was in the back seat.
The suspects pushed the boy out as they drove away, but he got caught on the seat belt and was dragged. He hit his head and was treated at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.
As a hardworking mom and nurse, Montgomery says she is always cautious at gas stations.
She looks around and won’t even stop if someone is loitering nearby, but on that day she left the keys in the ignition and the Jeep running because she says her son, Cayden, was feeling cold.
In less than 30 seconds, the suspects were inside her SUV, had unbuckled Cayden’s seat belt and were trying to throw him out.
“It was so quick it was mind blowing,” she said. "I saw the guy pushing him harder, slamming the door on his head; that’s when I freaked out.”
She chased after the vehicle, with a good Samaritan from the next pump.
They caught up to the vehicle just in time. “His arm got loose and he hit the ground, and I grabbed him and they just sped off,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery said Cayden was treated for a baseball-sized contusion on his head, scrapes and bruises.
"This is a violent crime. They took this car and hurt a young boy," said Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia.
A witness tried to follow the stolen Jeep, but lost it in the area of East 116th Street and Buckeye Road.
The stolen vehicle is a 2017 red Jeep Compass with license plate HCA4204.
A gas station employee said the suspects were in the store about 20 minutes prior to the incident. A surveillance camera inside the gas station gives a clear view of one of the suspects.
"Crimes like these are crimes of opportunity so when you leave your vehicle running, it's definitely something we would advise against. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and we're just glad this little boy is OK. I'm sure mom never meant for something like this to happen," said Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia. "It just goes to show you how fast something like that can happen."
If you have any information, please call Cleveland Police Fourth District Detective Bureau at 216-623-5418.
Tipsters can remain anonymous.