Crime Stoppers offers $5,000 for the arrest of the driver who killed a Richmond Heights man on July 5

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Richmond Heights Police Lt. Denise DeBiase said Crime Stoppers is now offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charging of the driver of the car that struck and killed resident Dawit Bekele, 32.

Bekele was struck as he crossed Highland Road Road west of Trebisky Road just after 10:30 p.m. on July 5.

The motorist, who drove off without stopping, was reportedly driving a 2008 to 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, color unknown, heading east on Highland Road. Parts of the car were found at the scene.

The Malibu is believed to have been damaged on its left front end.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lawlor at 216-383-6309 or Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463. Information may also be provided online at 25crime.com. Persons providing information may remain anonymous.

“All of our officers diligently checked leads that entered the department, and many other police departments took our call for help and contacted us with damaged Malibuses throughout northeast Ohio. “, DeBiase told the city council. at its meeting on Tuesday 12 July.

On the night of the drama, she said a resident called the police after hearing a “boom” outside. A passerby then stopped his car to help Bekele until the police arrived. Bekele died shortly thereafter.

“His co-workers adored him and his family was thrilled with the success he was having,” DeBiase said of Bekele. “His family is from Ethiopia.”

Addressing the board afterwards, DeBiase said: “Although we focused on Malibus due to parts being left behind, it is entirely possible that another type of vehicle struck Dawit.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Dawit, who was an incredibly kind soul with multiple college degrees.”

DeBiase said she attended Bekele’s funeral and noted that her family was “just heartbroken” by her loss.

“A GoFundMe account was created in his name,” she said, “and other residents of our great community reached out to me to organize an event for his family in the city.

“That’s when I implore the public to watch your speed, put down your cell phone, don’t get behind the wheel of your car if you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol, and to pay attention to the task ahead of you.” from you,” DeBiase told the board.

“Many of our accidents could be avoided simply by doing the right thing. We need you to take care of each other, just as we take care of you.

DeBiase said that over the past few weeks, several residents have contacted the police department to pay close attention to speeding and cars driving through stop signs in their neighborhoods.

“We are doing our best and have carried out numerous roadside checks, issued citations and arrested drivers for OVI in the process,” she said.

“Please take the time to watch for pedestrians and motorbikes on the roads this summer. We all share the roads with each other.

DeBiase also told the council it would help police if cameras could be placed at all city borders and on Highland and Richmond Roads. The closest Flock street camera to the incident that killed Bekele is on Highland Road, opposite 444 Park Apartments, 444 Richmond Park Drive, west of the Highland Road/Richmond Road intersection.

She said all local police cameras had been thoroughly checked, to no avail.

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Mark M. Gagnon