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Cleveland law student tackles suspected hit-and-run driver

But wait for police was too long, he said
Posted at 10:45 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 23:17:47-04

A Cleveland law student said he tackled a suspected hit-and-run driver on Tuesday and held him down until authorities could arrive.

George West, 23, was at the Lorain Avenue law firm where he works, when he said he noticed a man crash a Nissan SUV into his employer’s parked car before taking off. It happened at Lorain Avenue and W. 33rd Street. The impact sent his employer’s Infinity sedan into a building.

West said instinct told him to run after the man.

“And I just caught up to him eventually and I just tackled him to the ground and I was holding him there and he was like, ‘Let me go, man! Let me go, bro! It’s ok! It’s ok!’ And I was like, ‘It’s not ok! Just wait a minute. Wait a minute,’” West said.

West said that minute was actually more like five to ten minutes, pinning down a grown man.

“YouTube will teach you a lot,” West said. “At one point, he put his arm around my neck, so I had to put my elbow in his side to get him to stop trying to choke me out and suffocate me.”

And while fire trucks and an ambulance arrived quickly, West said it took police 20 minutes or more to get there.

“What if someone was in dire need? Someone could have seriously gotten hurt,” West said.

Earlier this year, an On Your Side investigation uncovered it takes Cleveland Police an average of 17 minutes to respond to even the highest priority calls, with many taking much longer.

News 5 did not immediately hear back from a Cleveland Police spokesperson Tuesday night.