CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has learned that Cleveland Police have arrested a 19-year-old man for a hit-and-run that left a child seriously hurt as she got off a school bus.
Police say Luis Rodriguez was picked up on a warrant for Aggravated Vehicular Assault and a charge for not stopping after an accident.
Cleveland Police First District Detectives and the Accident Investigation Unit kept working the case determined to get justice for an innocent child left suffering in the street.
The 9-year-old victim, a third-grader at Waverly Elementary school, was struck on West 73rd Street and Dearborn Avenue two weeks ago.
A driver went around the school bus after it had stopped. The car then barreled into the child and took off. The child suffered serious injuries, including a broken leg.
A citizen’s security cameras captured video of the hit-and-run driver later dumping the car and walking off. That gave investigators solid clues hours after the incident.
While the teen is now facing criminal charges, the school bus driver is waiting to find out his punishment from the school district.
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District found the driver had violated work rules when he dropped the child off on the opposite side of the street. Her mother told the I-TEAM that meant the little girl had to cross the street, which she usually did not have to do.
The driver had a disciplinary hearing this week.
The I-TEAM obtained the statement he gave the day of the accident. He told investigators he had his flashing lights on and the bus had its stop sign out. Yet, the hit-and-run driver ignored that.
The child’s mother spoke out to the I-TEAM angry at the bus driver and even angrier as she thought about the hit-and-run driver.
The child’s mom said she would take justice into her own hands if she could.
Now, she won’t have to do that. The suspect will go to court soon to begin facing charges.
His first appearance has not been scheduled.