I-TEAM: Inside look at how police tracked down sex offender who assaulted child at bus stop

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EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-TEAM has learned new details on how police tracked down a sex offender after he attacked a child at a bus stop.

The assault happened in August in the area of East 248th Street in Euclid.

Former Cleveland Police Officer Solomon Nhiwatiwa is now in prison for trying to kidnap a 12-year-old girl.

Officials say Nhiwatiwa may not have been arrested as soon he was had it not been for the quick actions of a Euclid police officer.

Euclid Police Officer Kirk Pavkov said he took the report from the young girl shortly after the assault happened.

“While she was explaining what happened I immediately thought of a report I had earlier,” Pavkov told the I-TEAM on Friday. “She said the man tried to kidnap her and then urinated on her.  She gave a description of him that was similar to the description of a suspect in another call that I responded to one or two days prior.”

He said the other call was from a woman who said an unknown man was standing in her driveway as she was leaving her house to go to work.

“The woman said she asked the man what he was doing and he didn’t say anything,” Pavkov said.

He was able to get a description of the vehicle and a license plate number.

So a short time after he got the information from the young girl, detectives put together a photo lineup.  The victim was able to pick out Nhiwatiwa’s photograph.

“I was blown away when I learned he was a Cleveland police officer,” Pavkov said.

A few months after Nhiwatiwa was arrested, he appeared before a judge and admitted his guilt.

He was sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison.

Pavkov and Euclid Police Captain Mitch Houser credit the young victim for her courage in coming forward, as well as the victim’s mother.

“The mother did not wash her daughter’s clothes and brought them to us,”  Houser said.  “Preserving the evidence really made a difference for us in the case because the clothes contained the DNA of the suspect.”

Continuing coverage, here.

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