Prosecutors: Man stole vehicle with 2-year-old inside, killed bicyclist as he fled officers

CLEVELAND — A 38-year-old man was arrested on multiple charges after he allegedly stole a car with a toddler inside and then struck and killed a bicyclist while fleeing from police.

Eric Maldonado was charged with aggravated robbery, kidnapping, and aggravated vehicular homicide, according to Cleveland police.

The incident started Friday night, Sept. 20 around 8:20 p.m.

Authorities said a woman stopped in the 3100 block of West 44th Street, got out of her car, and then had her cousin watch the vehicle and her 2-year-old child who was secured in a car seat inside the car.

That’s when police said that a man walked up to the woman’s cousin, knocked her to the ground, and then sped off in the woman’s car with the child still inside.

The woman called police and followed her car in another vehicle while talking to a police dispatcher, according to authorities.

A patrol officer located the woman’s car heading north on West 65th Street and gave chase. The man turned down Lorain Avenue and fled from police at a high rate of speed, authorities said.

When the man reached the area of West 45th Street and Bridge Avenue, he struck a bicyclist, another car, and then a tree, according to police. The man tried to escape, but was captured by officers.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as Devaughn Payne, 28, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The toddler was unharmed in the incident.

One police officer injured their hand arresting the man.

According to Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas records, Maldonado was wanted for a probation violation relating to a separate case in 2018.

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