CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team found many suspects arrested during downtown Cleveland rioting in May now can’t be found or they’ve had charges dropped.
We investigated since police and businesspeople are watching for more trouble in the streets tied to the presidential election.
Karl Abounader didn’t like hearing what the I-Team discovered. Demonstrators did heavy damage on May 30 to his restaurant, Karl’s Inn of the Barristers.
“Businesses everywhere, not just my business. Look at it. Still boarded up. The Justice Center still boarded up. What country are we in?” Abounader said.
The I-Team did a spot check. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said a handful of cases from the riots are still moving through federal court. Cuyahoga County prosecutors indicted people for some of the most-serious cases in county court.
The I–Team also checked city court records. We looked up names of people arrested for not following police orders or for aggravated rioting. We didn’t dig up all of the cases. But, we quickly found several suspects now wanted for not showing up for court. We also found several more sent to felony court, yet charges were dropped.
We’ve learned some felony charges are not getting pursued because of concerns about having enough evidence. For instance, no video of an incident.
Meantime, the courts commonly have suspects not showing up to face charges.
In fact, the suspect in Abounader’s case is among those wanted. He said he wonders if he will see more destruction.
“Why should I board up my windows? Anybody else board up their windows? Afraid something’s gonna happen? We shouldn’t be afraid,” Abounader said.
Some downtown businesses have taken new security measures to prepare for more unrest.
Weeks ago, the I-Team also revealed a big fence put up around the Cuyahoga County Justice Center. At that time, deputies told us the fence would stay up even past the election.
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