After pleading guilty to attempted kidnapping and urinating on a 12-year-old girl waiting at a bus stop, a former Cleveland police officer was recently sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Although police officers did not take the girl’s complaint seriously at first, the off-duty officer later admitted that he recorded the incident on his cellphone.
On August 16, 2019, off-duty Cleveland police officer Solomon Nhiwatiwa drove up to a girl near Euclid Avenue while she was waiting for the school bus. He asked her if she wanted a ride to school, but the seventh-grader refused.
After initially driving away, Nhiwatiwa parked his car down the street and returned on foot. While exposing his genitals and recording himself on his cellphone, he suddenly urinated on the girl’s head and torso.
“What’s your problem?” the girl asked the off-duty cop.
Nhiwatiwa retorted, “What’s wrong, bitch?”
He continued recording as he walked back to his car and drove away.
The seventh-grader called her mother on FaceTime and told her what had happened while walking home. After placing her daughter’s urine-soaked clothes in a plastic bag, the girl’s mother went to the Euclid Police Department to file a complaint.
DNA taken from the girl’s clothes matched Nhiwatiwa’s, and the girl identified him in a photo lineup. Last month, he pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping, pandering obscenity, endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
Common Pleas Court Judge Wanda Jones and Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Jennifer Driscoll criticized the Euclid Police Department for not taking the girl’s report seriously at first.
“She was victimized twice,” Judge Jones told the girl’s father. “The fact that [the report] wasn’t taken right away is quite disturbing to this court.”
On Tuesday, Nhiwatiwa was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, and he can no longer be a police officer in the state of Ohio. He must also register as a tier 1 sex offender.
During his five years as a Cleveland police officer Nhiwatiwa was disciplined at least four times, including suspended four days without pay for losing his portable radio. In September 2017, Nhiwatiwa refused to respond to a call about a man in need of medical attention until a dispatcher ordered him to request an ambulance. In November 2018, he was suspended for eight days without pay after repeatedly insulting a woman, failing to turn on his body camera, and falsifying a police report.