Autistic man says he was hit by a Cleveland school bus, wants new bike

Cleveland School District investigating incident

CLEVELAND - Alex Howe, 26, of Cleveland, relies on his mountain bike as his primary form of transportation, but for three weeks his bike has been left unrideable, after he claimed it was hit by a Cleveland school bus.

Howe told NewsChannel5 the incident took place at the intersection of Denison and Fulton Avenue on Nov. 13.

Howe reports he was riding his bike on the Fulton crosswalk when a school bus hit him while it was making a left hand turn from Denison onto Fulton.

Howe said the crosswalk light was in his favor, but the bus still clipped the back wheel of his bike, causing him to tumble onto the pavement.

"I don't know if she even knew that she hit somebody until I actually stood up, because she said the sun was in her eyes," said Howe. "She was asking me if I was okay and everything, and then she called the Cleveland school police, she was wondering if I needed an ambulance, but I said that I was okay, but I knew my bike wasn't."

Howe suffers from Autism, is on SSI, and still hasn't been able to get a drivers license or a car.

He showed 5 On Your Side how the alleged impact severely bent the back part of the frame on his bike.

"I just can't ride my bike anymore, the back tire rubs and skids along," said Howe. "It's really my only freedom, now I have to take RTA just to get around."

"I had to get my grandma just to pick me up to get me a ride over to my aunt's last week for Thanksgiving. I was very thankful that I was not hurt or anything."

Howe told NewsChannel5 he filed all the proper reports, but so far he's heard nothing back from the school district on whether it will replace his bike.

"I've tried calling them three times already, I even went down there to turn in my incident report request and they still haven't given me anything back," explained Howe. "They say they're still waiting on a witness statement from somebody, but they would not give their contact information, and basically I was getting nowhere."

5 On Your Side contacted the Cleveland Metropolitan School District about this case, and the district responded immediately.

The district reports the incident is still under investigation, but said it would reach out to Howe to explore the possibility of getting him a new bike, or help him file a damage claim.

NewsChannel5 will follow up on this developing story.

Residents can file damage claims with their city online, or by going to their city hall.

In most cases, it's best to first file a police report, take pictures of the damage and get at least two estimates on the repair costs.

Most cities will have residents fill out a separate claim form and submit the claim to its law department.

Residents should keep in mind that legal claims can take more than 12 weeks to get through the process.

Instructions on how to file a claim with the City of Cleveland can be found on its website.

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