CLEVELAND — Cleveland city council members and groups who help women who are victims of violence are reacting to the attack of a 17-year-old woman at the Gas USA on St. Clair Avenue back on Sept. 30.
The attack, which was recorded by a gas station customer, has Cleveland police looking for 33-year-old Raymond Jamel Shepherd in connection with assault.
Cuyahoga County court records indicate Shepherd pleaded guilty to a 2019 domestic violence charge last month
Ursula Hite told News 5 her granddaughter was simply in the store trying to buy snacks when the attack took place.
“Not just because she was my granddaughter, but because she is a woman and she was defenseless,” Hite said.
“To have this is like devastating and the first thing that came to my mind was why is nobody helping her. Everybody just stood in there and taping it and I was thinking what has this world come to."
“I really got angry because it was for no reason because he wanted to talk to her, you mean you haven’t the right to say yes or no anymore?”
"I’m begging anyone who knows where he is, let the police know, you know, turn him in.”
“Turn him in, because he shouldn’t have anywhere to hide in the city, this is a city of love, I was raised here, so I know people don’t go along with that.”
The incident has Delores Gray and Brickhouse Wellness, which helps women victimized by violence setting up an information protest at the gas station on Sat. Oct. 10, starting at 2 p.m.
“He beat this girl down, she was on the ground and he stomped her head and she was unconscious," Gray said.
“I felt it was my duty to set-up some type of a rally because this has to end, and that place is a hot spot for these types of activities."
“To come up with some sort of resolution or just shut down, one or the other, because it has to end. I can’t stand by and see another woman become a victim.”
“I feel that the courts need to set up a system where these people are incarcerated, not just get off that quickly on a bond.”
Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek said the Gas USA on St. Clair Avenue has been a problem for police and the neighborhood.
Polensek showed News 5 police reports which indicated the location had 80 police felony calls for service since Jan. 2017 and seven assault calls to the gas station since April 17, 2020.
He said he's now sent a resolution to the state liquor control board to suspend the location liquor license.
News 5 reached out to Gas USA ownership about this story, but we're still waiting for a response.