LINNDALE, Ohio - The FOX 8 I-Team has found Linndale police have arrested a 15-year-old boy for attacking and trying to kidnap a teen girl on her way home from school. And, we’ve obtained exclusive video showing the moments before the attack.
The incident happened earlier this week near the border of Linndale and Cleveland, and it left the community in fear.
An I-Team camera rolled as Linndale investigators hauled in the suspect Friday morning.
The victim had reported a mystery attacker grabbed her from behind. She screamed, broke away, and ran to the Linndale police station. She is also just 15.
Linndale police worked around the clock with other agencies to identify the suspect. They say he’s a 9th grade student at Rhodes High in Cleveland, and he was arrested at school.
Linndale Police Chief Tim Franczak said, “The best way I can put it is, if you prey on our children, we're going to do everything possible to bring you to justice."
Investigators reviewed security video from an RTA bus. It shows the girl sitting by herself. A male watches her and moves close to her. Yet, the girl never speaks to him. As she gets off the bus, he follows. Initially, you see them go separate ways. But then once she crosses the street, you see the male follow. The attack happened moments after that.
A key clue in trying to identify the suspect was his backpack. It is covered in Batman logos.
Investigators say the boy and girl in this case go to different schools, and they are total strangers.
Police wonder if the suspect wanted to steal the girl’s phone or sexually assault her.
Police are also now wondering if the suspect in this case could be tied to more attacks.
The chief added, "Throughout my 20 years in law enforcement I've seen that when arrests are made, other victims are more apt to come forward now."
The incident left the community terrified. News of the arrest now brings relief.
Investigators say anyone with information about any unsolved similar cases should call Linndale police at 216-251-1234.