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13-year-old fighting for life after hit and run, family is pleading for help

Posted at 2:56 PM, Feb 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-27 17:13:55-05

A father is pleading for help as his 13-year-old son, a hit and run victim, fights for his life in the hospital. 

Jaden Paolino was hit by a car fleeing from police on Cleveland's east side last Thursday night.

"Look into your heart, you wouldn't want your child to be on life support, fighting for his life, there's nothing to be afraid of, speak to someone and let them know what happened," Jaden's father Maurice Paolino said.

University Hospital employees confirmed on Tuesday that Jaden is in critical condition. He is still in a medically induced coma for injuries to his brain. 

"My baby, my child, is broken. There's nothing more I can say," Maurice Paolino said. "He's on life support, and we are still touch and go with some things."

Paolino said no suspects have been named, but he wants the men who put his boy in the hospital to be held accountable.

"They did it, they figure, 'I'm free.' It can't be that easy. Can't be that easy when my child is up here fighting for his life. I need some resolution."

Jaden has several broken bones, bruises lungs and a significant brain injury.

All he did was cross the road Thursday evening. His two friends got away from the car coming down the street, but he couldn't.

According to his father, the car didn't just hit Jaden - it ran him over. 

"He was crushed."

It all started with a stolen car pursuit, according to East Cleveland police.

An officer pulled up behind a gray Chevy Cavalier, and its plates registered as stolen. 

The officer followed, but the two inside wouldn't stop. Instead, the driver drove faster. The officer followed in the patrol car, reaching 45 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone. 

The officer stopped just after the East Cleveland and Cleveland border, but reported the two men kept going. They went through an intersection, left of center, right into Jaden. 

And they still kept driving.

The car that hit him was later found set on fire and ditched in Cleveland. 

"To cover their tracks, because they know," Maurice Paolino said.

He and his family are asking anyone with information to come forward. 

"There's nothing to be afraid of for speaking to someone, letting them know what happened, what they know. It's important to us, my family and the community. That could have been anyone else's child. Your child."