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Ride for teen domestic violence victim raises funds and awareness

Posted at 10:37 PM, Aug 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-06 23:12:04-04

PARMA, Ohio — Chrome, leather and purple filled the parking lot of Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in Parma Saturday afternoon. Several hundred motorcycle riders and others gathered to pay tribute to a Brunswick teen killed by domestic violence.

“She loved riding on the back of my bike,” Nick Pinardo said of his daughter Alyssa Pinardo.

The 18-year-old Brunswick High School student would have graduated in May. Several weeks before the ceremony, police say she was fatally shot by her 18-year-old boyfriend Logan Robertson on May 3 at a home on Southwick Boulevard.

According to court documents, he has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in Medina County and is scheduled for trial in December.

RELATED: 18-year-old Brunswick man accused of fatally shooting girlfriend

Nick said he didn’t realize his daughter was in an abusive relationship until after the shooting. Now he wants to raise awareness about domestic violence.

“I just want the teens to know that there’s somebody out there to help them get through bad relationships,” he said.

Saturday, Pinardo organized a memorial motorcycle ride in Alyssa’s honor. He’s part of an Ohio chapter of the international organization Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA).

Many of the bikers donned bandanas and t-shirts in purple, which was Alyssa’s favorite color. The group planned to make several stops in a journey from Parma to Brunswick High School, where they planned to release butterflies - another favorite of Alyssa’s.

Both purple and butterflies are also symbolic of domestic violence awareness.

“It’s also personal to me as also being a victim of domestic violence,” said Elisabeth Whelan, who was riding Saturday. “This is what it leads to. It always leads to something more serious. People need to feel safe coming forward and talking about it and saying something before it’s too late.”

According to a report released by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, domestic violence fatalities increased by 20% in 2021 over the previous year. They were up by 62% from two years ago. The majority of deaths were firearm-related.

Of 131 deaths in Ohio caused by domestic violence, 15 were young people. It’s the highest number recorded since the group began tracking the numbers six years earlier.

“It needs to stop. Our families need to get together, pay attention to the children and definitely, definitely step in if something doesn’t feel right,” said relative Marie Pinardo.

Nick is hoping to encourage teens to look for signs of abuse and offer help where it’s needed.

“If they see it and hear about it, they need to tell somebody because nobody needs to be like my daughter,” he said.

The memorial ride raised money to establish a scholarship fund for Brunswick High School students in Alyssa’s honor.

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