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Suspect arrested in hit-skip crash that killed former Cleveland police officer

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 12:37:39-04

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has identified the woman killed in a fatal hit and run crash near East 71st Street and Superior Avenue.

The woman was identified as 41-year-old Shani Dizard of Warrensville Heights.

The crash happened Wednesday night around 7 p.m. Preliminary information indicated a car struck a motorcycle and fled the scene.

Dizard died at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Authorities said the suspect contacted police around midnight. The driver's car was towed and charges are pending. 

Dizard, also known as Shani Hannah, was a former patrol officer with the City of Cleveland.

She was fired in 2013 after pleading guilty to stabbing her boyfriend.

On March 11, 2012, Dizard, then 37, got into an argument with her boyfriend and stabbed him with a knife, Cleveland police said. She then fled the house on West Boulevard, but was arrested and indicted for felonious assault, which is a second-degree felony.

The 11-year veteran of the force was not on duty at the time of the fight.

Dizard later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault, according to her termination letter. She was sentenced to six months at the Cuyahoga County Jail, which was suspended.

Dizard was also given 12 months probation, sentenced to perform 25 hours of community service and ordered to complete an anger management program.

According to her personnel file, Arbitrator Paul Gerhart ruled that Dizard [Hannah] should be reinstated. 

"Officer Hannah has demonstrated, based upon her professionalism, that she is worthy of the badge and a second chance," the document read.

City of Cleveland Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia released this statement regarding the Dizard's employment history: "The victim in this case was formerly employed by the city of Cleveland. Her employment had not yet been reinstated as the case remains within the appellate process."