When we looked into the driver’s background, we found what he wanted to keep secret.
On Monday morning, Leander Bissell went to Cleveland Municipal Court to face charges for aggravated vehicular homicide and failing to stop after an accident.
Court records show it happened as the firefighter cleaned up debris from an accident, and Bissell hit him while driving drunk.
The I-Team obtained video of the arrest hours later. Police said Bissell had a “strong odor” of alcohol, “bloodshot eyes” and “slurred speech”.
On Saturday evening, rescue crews responded after drivers called 911 to report a crash on Interstate 90 near Eddy Road. One witness said, “Car flipped over in the high-speed lanes.”
Police said Bissell hit the firefighter then sped off.
Officers later spotted the suspect’s car not far away, with damage.
Investigators then looked back at cameras and saw that car going from Lakeshore Boulevard; then to East 152nd Street; then to Ridpath Avenue, the scene of the arrest. Police said the video falls in line with the call from the scene.
The I-Team wondered about the suspect’s driving record. So, we checked. We found has has been convicted of impaired driving once before. His record also shows 11 other traffic tickets since 2004. But, at the time of this incident, he had a valid license.
Court records show Bissell last year tried to have his criminal record sealed. His lawyer wrote Bissell has “worked diligently to improve his life.”
But Cuyahoga County prosecutors wrote he was not eligible. They pointed out he had been convicted for domestic violence and three felony drug cases.
In the meantime, while checking FOX 8 archives, we found a man with the same name and date of birth was shot multiple times on the city’s southeast side in 2016. He survived, but a woman shot there that night died.
For this case, a city judge ordered Bissell held in jail on a $500,000 bond.
Another hearing has been scheduled, but generally, investigators take the case before a grand jury for an indictment before that second hearing takes place.