By Adam Ferrise | cleveland.com |
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A Cleveland police officer tried to kidnap a 12-year-old girl waiting for her school bus and urinated on her while he filmed the interaction, prosecutors said.
Officer Solomon Nhiwatiwa, 34, is charged with attempted kidnapping, pandering obscenity, disseminating material harmful to juveniles, assault, endangering children, child enticement, interfering with custody and public indecency. He is set to be arraigned on Monday.
He was suspended without pay until the case is concluded. He was hired as a police officer in 2014.
“He will be held accountable,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said. “It’s my office’s mission to ensure he never wears the badge of a police officer again.”
The incident happened on Friday on Euclid Avenue in Euclid. Nhiwatiwa was arrested on Tuesday.
The girl was sitting on the sidewalk waiting to be picked by a school bus. Nhiwatiwa drove up and tried to entice the girl to get inside his car by asking if she needed a ride to school, prosecutors said.
The girl repeatedly refused and Nhiwatiwa initially drove off. He returned about one minute later and recorded himself on his cellphone urinating on the girl, prosecutors said.
Nhiwatiwa again left. A neighbor later called Euclid police and said a man, later identified as Nhiwatiwa, was acting strange and looking inside people’s cars.
The girl’s mother reported the incident to Euclid police, who pieced together the connection, prosecutors said.
Nhiwatiwa turned himself in to police on Tuesday.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association Jeff Follmer declined comment.
Nhiwatiwa was involved in the fatal shooting of two men while he worked as a security guard in 2011.
Nhiwatiwa and another security guard fired shots during a June 9, 2011 melee at a Cleveland nightclub. The shooting resulted in the deaths of Alexander Burkes and Roosevelt Guins, according to court records.
Nhiwatiwa and the other security guard, Byron Gilson, were not criminally charged in the incident.
The fatal shooting that occurred during Nhiwatiwa’s time as a security guard resulted in a lawsuit that Burkes’ family filed against the guards and the company they worked for, R-Cap Security. The suit claimed neither Nhiwatiwa nor Gilson had proper certification to carry firearms as a security guard at the time of the shooting.
The lawsuit was settled out of court for terms that are not disclosed in records.
Nhiwatiwa was working security when a fight broke out at a party being held at Top Cats Pub and Grill. Nhiwatiwa and Gilson kicked out one of the patrons, the lawsuit says.
Eight to 10 patrons then ganged up on Nhiwatiwa and Gilson. Someone tried to grab Nhiwatiwa’s gun, and and the group dragged him into a bathroom.
Both Nhiwatiwa and Gilson fired shots into the group, killing Burkes and Guins, according to police reports and court records.
Two men were eventually convicted of aggravated riot in the incident, but no convictions were secured for Guins’ and Burkes’ deaths.