CLEVELAND (WJW)– A mother is speaking with the FOX 8 I-Team with a message for police as they are now getting justice for her child left seriously hurt by a hit-and-run driver who’d gone around a school bus.
The I-Team found the suspected driver should not have even been on the streets.
“And I would like to thank them for looking and not stopping,” said Jazmine Thompkins about the investigators.
On Thursday, the I-Team revealed Cleveland police arrested 19-year-old Luis Rodriguez.
Detectives said they believe he drove an SUV around a Cleveland school bus dropping off kids last month on the city’s west side. That SUV then plowed into a 9-year-old girl and took off.
Police said they cracked the case when they got a tip, then they backed it up with fingerprints and other evidence from inside the vehicle involved in the crash.
We asked the child’s mother what she would say to the suspect.
“Oh, he do not want to know. He do not want to know. I’ll wait until I get there,” Thompkins said.
Police video just released to the I-Team shows, at first, it looked like that driver got away for good. The bus driver can be heard saying to police, “Oh, my God. Don’t tell me this guy’s gonna get away with this.”
But a neighbor found security camera video of the SUV just before the crash. Another citizen captured video of the SUV cruising a mile away. Video also showed the driver dumping the vehicle in a stranger’s driveway. Police said that SUV had been stolen.
The I-Team dug into the suspected hit and run driver’s record. We found he shouldn’t have even been on the streets. In recent months, he’d been indicted on three cases, including two robberies. He had warrants out for his arrest for weeks for not showing up for court.
Meantime, the bus driver also faces discipline from the school district.
Records show the district found the bus driver, Alfred Bosque, dropped the child off on the wrong side of the street. The girl’s mom wants him fired.
“If you picked her up over there, you should have dropped her off over there. You should have never dropped her off across the street,” Thompkins said.
The child faces months of recovery. But now, police said they have the driver to blame, and investigators are determined to make sure he pays for this.
“I’m like, thank you!” Thompkins said.
The suspected driver’s case now begins to move through the courts. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District says administrators are still reviewing a recommendation for discipline against the bus driver.