CLEVELAND (WJW) – New video released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows the scene after a woman was attacked in broad daylight on Public Square.
We found crime downtown has spiked up, so we investigated what that means for your safety.
The I-Team checked stats for crime downtown from the Lake to Carnegie and from East 21st to the Cuyahoga River in the Flats.
For the first four months of the year there, look.
We found felony assault is up 25%, sex offenses are up 22%, robbery is up 19% and theft is up 23%. Also, the number of stolen cars has more than doubled.
The new video released goes back to an attack last month as a woman rode her bike through Public Square. She says a man walked up and punched her in the face, then walked away.
For this story, we caught up with the victim again. She also waited 16 minutes for police after the assault.
“I no longer feel safe, and I do feel that there is a failure with the leadership, that there should be a better response time from our police,” she said.
We’ve also recently shown you carjackings downtown, shootings and a vicious attack on women at a bus stop in broad daylight. Investigators made an arrest in that, and they’ve called it a hate crime.
We’ve also found the Cleveland police patrol district that includes downtown is short-staffed by about a quarter. It’s short dozens of officers.
We sent those latest crime stats back to the chief’s office, asking for comment.
Sergeant Jennifer Ciaccia issued the following statement:
“The Cleveland Division of Police, like law-enforcement agencies around the United States, has seen increases in criminal activity, including gun violence throughout the city.
“Calls for service tend to increase in the summer months. The Cleveland division of police partners with local, federal, and state law enforcement agencies in crime reduction efforts. Additionally, officers are relying more on technology, including the use of shotspotter technology and the Real Time Crime Center to investigate crimes.
“The downtown area is serviced by the Cleveland division of police third district basic patrol and investigative units as well as the downtown services unit. Citizens are reminded to report criminal activity to law-enforcement. If you see something, say something. Call 911 in emergencies call 216-621-1234 for non emergencies.”
Cleveland has had an increase in categories of violent crime across the city. This week, Mayor Justin Bibb spoke about that.
“We have a gun problem in this country and a gun problem in Cleveland,” he said.
Still, the woman punched on the bike expects more. She wants to see specific action for better protection downtown. In fact, her attacker has not been caught.
“Makes no sense to me. Not gonna deter anyone if they’re not held accountable,” she said.
Cleveland police are chronically short-staffed citywide as well, not just in the downtown area.