Even his grandmother said parents need to do more about kid criminals.
That led us to do some digging. We found what has not been done for years to take back the streets.
A report shows Cleveland police found an 8-year-old driving a stolen car several days ago on Stephenson Road.
We asked his grandmother how he ended up behind the wheel at 8 years old. She said another juvenile got him involved.
“The boy just pulled up on him and told him to get in the car with him,” she said
This case comes to light with juvenile crime raging — kids carjacking; kids killing. Last month, Cleveland police said a large group of juveniles beat an innocent man, then they fired gunshots wildly in the street.
Now, the 8-year-old and the stolen car.
“He don’t even know how to drive no car,” his grandmother said. “He never drove before.”
Councilman Michael Polensek has called for police to crack down on the parents of kids out past curfew, saying he wants to see police write the parents more tickets for their kids being out in the middle of the night.
Polensek has told us that’s rarely happening.
So we checked Cleveland city court records for the last couple of years. We found just 30 tickets were filed in 2021. Last year, there were 56. And, so far this year, just 35.
The I-Team pulled all of the tickets filed in Cleveland this year against parents for kids violating curfew. One showed a 12-year-old in a car with drugs and loaded guns. Several others show kids busted while out trying to steal cars. A 13-year-old even had a hammer in his hand.
“We have to take back our streets, Ed,” Polensek said. “And, that’s not happening in this city.”
He added, “My message to Cleveland police: ‘Get it together. Get it together and start enforcing the laws.'”
Behind the calls to take back the streets from young criminals, the mayor’s office sent a statement: “We’ve responded to all of (the councilman’s) stated concerns and we’ll continue to work together to find solutions to curtail the level of violence our city is seeing.”
You might be thinking like that grandmother.
“I think the mothers need to be tougher on the kids,” she told us. “You need to have these mothers interacting with these juveniles.”
The 8-year-old did not face criminal charges, but we’ve learned an older juvenile with him did.