I TEAM: Exclusive video–how police untangled a case of street justice

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained exclusive police video showing the untold story behind a recent case of citizens tracking down two teens in a stolen car, throwing them in a trunk and hauling them to Cleveland police.

This comes as a second review has just determined the adults will not face any charges. The teens, meanwhile face charges for receiving stolen property.

The video shows that, initially, police handcuffed everyone as they tried to sort it all out. An officer even gently handcuffed the two teens together, 14-year-old boys.

The incident began with a car stolen in Garfield Heights. Investigators say the owner and her adult sons tracked it down in Cleveland. Two teen boys said they were chased in the car, someone fired shots, then they were beaten and tossed in the trunk of a car. They ended up at Cleveland’s 4th District headquarters.

Police body camera video shows a man telling an officer, “I blocked 'em off, and I snatched they a-- out the car.”

Meantime, an officer questioned the teens. He asked, "I'm trying to understand this now. When were you thrown in the trunk of the Nissan?" One teen answered, "After they beat us up. They put us in the trunk. Closed the trunk. They opened the trunk. And we were here (at the police station)."

The county prosecutor’s office decided no felony charges will be filed against the adults. Even though the citizens put the kids in the trunk, the county prosecutor reasoned they took the teens directly to the police station. Also, another factor, the kids did not suffer serious injuries. Plus, the person firing the gunshots at the car has never been identified. Not even lesser, misdemeanor charges will be filed. The city prosecutor’s office says parents of the kids caught in the car don`t want to press any charges.

At one point, an officer asked the boys, "How'd you guys end up in that car?" A teen answered, "The stolen one? Or the one we got dropped off in?"

The teens told police they didn’t steal the car. They simply had been picked up by a friend. Nonetheless, they are now facing charges in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court for receiving stolen property.

They had court dates on Monday, and they are now due back in court next month.

Investigators have not determined the identity of the person to blame for stealing the car, setting off the chain of events.

Continuing coverage here. 

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