CLEVELAND — Following the arrest of a 17-year-old boy accused of raping a woman inside a parking garage outside Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland police gave an update on what led to his arrest, stressing this type of violent crime is an outlier in places like Downtown Cleveland.
The incident happened around 7 p.m. on Valentine's Day when a 51-year-old told police that a man attacked and sexually assaulted her inside a parking garage at 630 Prospect Avenue according to a Cleveland police news release. The teenager then forced the woman into her vehicle before attempting to drive off, the release states. He then crashed the vehicle and forcibly took property from the victim.
Cleveland police said they didn't notify the public right away after the incident occurred because detectives working on the case had solid leads and they didn't want to jeopardize the arrest.
"We knew this person had violent tendencies and we needed to get him off the street as soon as possible," said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
The teen was arrested Tuesday night on the lower East Side.
When asked what connected the teen to the crime and ultimately led to his arrest, authorities were tight-lipped to release many details during the news conference.
"There were other things that happened downtown that we were able to back track and get photographs and videos of this person from some of the business locations because we knew certain things tied him to this actual crime," Williams said.
Prior to the alleged rape, the teen was wanted a week before on a misdemeanor warrant. Police said the teen wasn’t on anyone’s radar before the alleged rape happened.
“Sometimes those things are pushed and prioritize based on a suspect’s history and sometimes they are not. If we would have gotten this warrant from the system saying this person needs to be pick up, then we would have dedicated resources to pick up,” Williams said, pointing out there are thousands of misdemeanor and felony warrants for people in Cuyahoga County.
The teen is facing 12 counts in juvenile court including rape, kidnapping, robbery, theft, gross sexual imposition and disrupting public service in connection to the attack, court record says.
Prosecutors at the news conference said the teen was arraigned Wednesday and will have a probable cause hearing on March 26, where they plan to try him as an adult.
Juvenile court records show he's been found delinquent in at least nine different cases dating back to a 2014 case when at 13 years old records show the teen admitted to sexual imposition.
Those same records show he denied the charges in two other cases where he was charged with kidnapping to engage in sexual acts. Those cases were both dismissed.