Woman questions Cleveland police response time after crash

Posted at 3:22 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 18:41:47-04

The man who hit her drove off. So she called 911. But, she says, Cleveland police never showed up. 

Kimberly Steinhauer says she was at East 83rd Street and Cedar Avenue when she came to a stop and the car behind her didn't slow down.

"I hit my head, jerked my neck a bit," she said.

Steinhauer says the man who hit her stopped to check on her.

"He said, 'I don't have any insurance and I don't have a drivers license,' then got in his car and took off."

Steinhauer said she managed to get his plate number and car information before he left, all while calling 911.

She said she was surprised Cleveland police never showed up at the scene or the hospital.

"The EMT jokingly said, 'you're not going to get police, it's shift change time,'" Steinhauer recalls.

She said it wasn't until hours later that she got any response from police.

"I got a call from Cleveland police saying they were outside and needed to speak with me. I said, 'the accident happened at 6:45 in the morning. I'm not there!' And they said, 'get to a station and file a report right away.'"

Steinhauer says she managed to get to a station, hoping it meant police would try to find the man who hit her and left, but that's not what happened.

"I thought they were going to look for this man! They have a plate number," she said.

The information she shared was not even mentioned in the report filed days later. She says the report also had incorrect information.

"It had my information and the wrong location."

Now Steinhauer is left with a bill, a new route to work and an uneasy feeling about her safety in Cleveland.

"There's a lack of trust here. Your concern as a law-abiding, taxpaying citizen is when you need those people there they are going to be there. And they weren't."

Steinhauer is not alone. Last week, News 5 reported another woman's story. Katie was also left in a lurch when she dialed 911 in Cleveland.

"That's why I reached out to you," Steinhauer said. "I saw your report with that other woman downtown. If enough of us say this is a problem, dismissing us because our issues aren't severe enough, maybe it will change."

According to Cleveland police, priority and response depends on each call, but they'll always respond. As we've reported, that response can take hours - even days.

Here's a breakdown of how 911 calls are prioritized in Cleveland.