CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered why it took more than half an hour to get Cleveland police officers to the scene of a child killed by a hit and run driver.

The I-Team pressed for months to find out where all of the officers were after a driver hit little Apolina Asumani and took off.

It happened in April on West 50th Street.

A dispatcher told a supervisor she had no officers to send to the call, so we investigated. Police video shows the first officers didn’t get to the scene until 33 minutes after the call for help.

“Seemed like forever,” a witness said.

The I-Team checked on officers nearby at the time of the crash. We found two police cars at the hospital in separate cases.

The I-Team also found other patrol cars at a fire, a domestic violence call and a report of a burglary.

But, we also saw police on calls for a “traffic hazard,” illegal dumping, some kind of detail at district headquarters and even on foot patrol along West 25th Street.

Ultimately, dispatch pulled officers from the foot patrol.

An ambulance got to the scene in just five minutes, but, again, it took more than half an hour to get officers there to find witnesses and evidence.

The I-Team reviewed records that show every police car working in that district at that hour. The records show what each patrol officer was doing at the moment the call came in for the child hit and run.

We’ve learned police supervisors looked at the same thing. An internal review found three dispatchers should have done more to move officers to the scene.

A statement released by Cleveland Police Sergeant Jennifer Ciaccia said the following: 

“On April 23, 2022, Cleveland Safety Divisions responded to a call for a young child struck by a vehicle which fled the scene. Cleveland Emergency Medical Service arrived quickly and it was known that medics were on scene providing medical care to the child. Police did respond and after investigating, an arrest was made that night. Since that time, a thorough review of the incident was conducted by the Communications Control Section and it was found that the delay in police response time resulted from a priority coding error by dispatch personnel. Corrective action including counseling and additional training has addressed this matter.”

Despite the delay, investigators later arrested a suspect in the deadly crash, a 17-year-old with no driver’s license.

The teen faces charges in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, but her case could be moved to adult court.

While this case sparked a review of how it was handled by police, it also has sparked a new effort to slow speeders on neighborhood streets.