CLEVELAND -- He took an oath to serve and protect, but a Cleveland police officer is now charged with lewd and despicable crimes against a 12-year-old girl. Prosecutors say he tried to kidnap her from a school bus stop, but he did not stop there.
A Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted Solomon Nhiwatiwa Wednesday on the following eight counts:
- 1 count of attempted kidnapping (with sexual motivation specification)
- 1 count of pandering obscenity involving a minor
- 1 count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles
- 1 count of endangering children
- 1 count of criminal child enticement
- 1 count of public indecency
- 1 count of assault
- 1 count of attempted interference with custody
"This is just an individual who is just a bad man, who just happens to work as a police officer," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley.
34-year-old Solomon Nhiwatiwa has been a Cleveland police officer since March 2014 and was most recently assigned to the third district.
"He approached a young girl, tried to entice that young girl; she was a 12-year-old child who was waiting for her school bus," O’Malley explained.
O'Malley says the girl was at her bus stop along Euclid Avenue in Euclid around 7:00 a.m. Friday. She says a man in a blue BMW SUV pulled up and asked if she needed a ride to school.
According to a Euclid police report, Nhiwatiwa asked,"what are you doing?" She told him she was waiting for the bus.
He then asked "what school do you go to?"
After naming her school, he asked, "can I take you there?" The girl declined and said, "no thanks."
"He continued to engage in conversation with her. The young child continued to shut him down, tell him no -- she didn't want to talk to him, no, no," said the prosecutor.
The report states that Nhiwatiwa continued and said, "can I talk to you and ask you some questions?"
Again the girl said"no."
Investigators say he left, then returned with his genitals exposed and appeared to be recording himself with his cell phone.
"Several minutes later, he then approached her and began to urinate on the child," said O’Malley.
According to the report, the girl then yelled, "what is your problem?"
He responded, "what's wrong?" and called her an expletive word.
Investigators say they suspected Nhiwatiwa because an hour earlier, a neighbor called police about a man peering into cars and reported the license number of a suspicious blue SUV.
"Police are our safety net, they are the people that protect children like this girl every day…The mission of my office is to ensure that he never acts as a police officer again and never holds that title again," O’Malley said.
Nhiwatiwa has been placed on administrative leave without pay. He turned himself in to Euclid police Tuesday and remains in the Euclid City Jail. He will eventually be transferred to the Cuyahoga County Jail.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday morning.