CLEVELAND, OHIO – Cleveland police are investigating a case of apparent mistaken identity that resulted in a teenage girl getting crushed by a car, a baseball bat wielding man arrested and sent to jail and a local business damaged and closed over the holiday weekend. And the whole incident was captured on video.
It happened July 4 at around 8:30 p.m. That’s when police said a group of people seeking revenge pulled into the EZ Mart Food Store at 4163 Rocky River Drive on Cleveland’s far west side. Police said the group apparently believed two men who had pulled into the store in a white car were responsible for an earlier minor assault on one of their friends.
Video surveillance from cameras at the store showed the group approaching the white car and entering the store. Moments later, a man with a baseball bat is seen striking at the driver of the car. The car then lurched forward, pinning a girl against the front of the building. The car then backed up and left the area as the man with the bat smashed the passenger-side windows.
People are then seen running about the area, assisting the injured teen, disarming the man with the bat and calling for police. A few minutes later, Cleveland police arrived at the scene and began investigating the matter.
Police told NewsChannel5 that their investigation is ongoing, but that the men in the white car were apparently innocent shoppers who were mistakenly identified by the group.
Police said 20-year-old Justin Toennies was arrested on felonious assault and vandalism charges.
NewsChannel5 was told the female hit by the vehicle is in the hospital with multiple broken bones.
The store was closed after the incident but has now been repaired and reopened.