UPDATE: High school driver arrested in Cleveland hit and run - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: High school driver arrested in Cleveland hit and run

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Cleveland Police are in the process of booking the 18-year-old who they say hit a middle school student before class Tuesday morning. 

Police say Cruz Perez, 18, hit the boy on Candies Lane near Georgetown Road. 

Shadyn Bunnell, 15, suffered some minor injuries Tuesday morning but doctors say he will be okay.

Police identified the driver Tuesday afternoon but didn't arrest him until hours later. 

"I went up in the area a second and then smacked the ground and was like, Oh God. And I stood up and the dude's like, Are you okay? Are you okay? I was like, Yeah, I guess. And then I was like, No, I'm not. And I stood up and by the time I looked at my ankle, it was already swollen and it was purple," Shadyn said. 

Moments Shadyn said Perez asked if he was okay, he said Perez disappeared. 

"I was like, Dang, where'd he go?" Shadyn added. 

Shadyn says the driver took off in a red sports car. 

Police later found Perez at Cleveland High School, where he's a student. He's now charged with Failure to Render Aid, Driving Without a License, and Driving Without Insurance. Those charges are considered misdemeanors. 

Shadyn's mother is struggling with why Perez didn't stop. 

"Had he stopped, it would have been different. I would have forgiven him. I wouldn't have pressed it. If he would have just stopped, but he just left him," Shonda Bunnell said. 

The intersection where Shadyn was hit is a busy one, just feet away from the interstate and in the middle of a construction zone. 

Mike Collier, the principal at nearby Cleveland Middle School says he's always concerned about student safety. 

"On Georgetown Road, because it's a state highway, it doesn't have sidewalks," Collier said, "We've got kids out at dark, trying to get to bus stops and buses operating in the dark. Obviously that's going to give you a situation where something bad can happen."

Now, this mom says the area is off limits to her son and hopes other parents will follow suit.

"I don't think it's safe for an adult to be walking. My son, you saw him, he's a tall boy. He's as bis as an adult. If they can't see him, they're not going to see an adult," she added. 

Stay with Channel 3 for updates on this story. 


The driver responsible for hitting a Cleveland Middle School student Tuesday morning at 7:30a.m. has been identified and charged.

Cruz Salas Perez, age 18, a student of Cleveland High School, driving a red, 2006 Honda Civic, has been charged by CPD Officer J.R. Burnette with:

  • Failure to render aid
  • Driving without a license
  • No insurance

Police say the high school student then went to his driver's ed class and told his teacher he hit a student on his way into school.

It was that information that helped them file charges a few hours after the crash.

"They were advised that a red sports car, possibly a Nissan had left the scene and turned left onto Georgetown Road, officers checked the area and didn't have any contact with the vehicle at that time," said Officer Bobby Ruth, Cleveland Police Department.

15-year-old Shayden says the car ran over his foot and injured his leg and ankle. His mother sent us photos of his injuries after he was released from the emergency room.
    
His principal at Cleveland Middle school says he's always concerned with his students who walk to school or wait at early morning bus stops.

Many of the roads leading to the school do not have sidewalks.

"We've got kids out at dark, trying to get to bus stops and buses operating in the dark, obviously that's going to give you a situation where something bad can happen," said Principal Mike Collier.

Officer Ruth says crashes often happen at intersections along Georgetown Road because it's a busy street in a residential area.
    
In this case police, and the victim's family, are still waiting to hear from the driver on why he didn't stop.


PREVIOUS STORY: Cleveland police report that a boy was struck by a red vehicle Tuesday morning, which later fled.

In a post of the Cleveland Police Department's Facebook Page, police say the vehicle was northbound on Candies Lane towards Georgetown Road when it struck boy, who is student at Cleveland Middle School.

The vehicle then fled the scene. 

Police say the red "sports type vehicle" then went left on Georgetown Road. 

The CPD asks that any witnesses or anyone with information about this hit and run are urged to leave a confidential tip via CPD Facebook inbox or call Officer J.R. Burnette at 423-476-1121.

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