Monday, February 6, 2012

Cleveland, OH: Cleveland youth, 16, turns self in to police following dragging death

CLEVELAND, Ohio - A 16-year-old surrendered to police Monday following the death of a 16-year-old Cleveland girl who police said was fatally injured when she was dragged by a maroon Jeep Sunday night after an argument with her boyfriend.

Rosaura Oquendo, who would have celebrated her 17th birthday on Thursday, fell to the pavement near her West 81st Street home. Cleveland police said it is unclear whether a piece of her clothing got caught in the car or she was intentionally dragged down the street.
The suspect, 16, with his father surrendered to Homicide Detectives, police said He is being interviewed. His name has not been released.
February is designated as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, said Linda Dooley Johanek, head of the Domestic Violence Center of Greater Cleveland. National statistics show between 25 and 33 percent of teens have been involved in violent situations.
"Teen dating violence is so common it's scary, but the general public is unaware that this type of violence exists," she said. "That's why we talk to teens at schools so they can look for the red flags and warning signs."
Khalid Samad, president of Peace in the 'Hood, said many neighbors witnessed the incident but were afraid to talk because they fear reprisals.
Police were called at 10:33 p.m. and found Rosaura unconscious on her porch in the 2000 block. She was pronounced dead at MetroHealth Medical Center.
Blood remained on the street and the porch Monday afternoon, as police searched for the boyfriend.
"The victim and the suspect were involved in an argument," Sgt. Sammy Morris said.
Rosaura was standing outside the maroon jeep on the driver's side, he said.
As they argued, the 16-year-old suspect drove away, dragging Rosaura a short distance, he said. She fell from the vehicle and struck the pavement.
The Jeep, with vanity plate TPASLY, was found about 7:25 a.m. Monday parked in the 1400 block of West 77th Street. It was towed to a police lot.
Neighbor Evelyn Paradiso said she heard screaming and arguing and looked outside. She saw Rosaura by the Jeep, then saw her fall and hit her head as the Jeep kept going.
Rosaura's father rushed outside and carried his daughter to their porch, then the mother came out and started screaming, Paradiso said.
Rosaura's family displayed a memorial on their front porch Monday afternoon - a white cloth that contained a colorful display of bears, monkeys, balloons and a bouquet of flowers.
The family declined to be interviewed.
Samad said his organization and the Oquendo family are arranging a public vigil 7 p.m. Thursday.
Anyone with information is asked to call First District detectives at 216-623-5100.

No comments: