CHICAGO (CBS) — In an incident that was caught on disturbing cellphone video, a woman was left bleeding on a Chicago sidewalk after she said she was intentionally hit by a truck.
But instead of a police investigation, her family said they have been given the runaround. As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Thursday night, the family said police have done nothing to try to arrest the driver.
It has been over a month since the family reported the hit-and-run to officers at the Central (1st) Police District. They feel detectives are not taking the case seriously, even though the crime was captured on video.
It began as a verbal streetside confrontation, and escalated to a truck hitting Akayla Nowak on the sidewalk at Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street downtown on July 25.
The truck slammed Nowak to the ground and the tires ran over her arm – just missing her head.
“The lights were just so bright, it just like went, like, boom! It just happened so fast,” Nowak said.
When asked if she thought the driver was trying to hurt her, Nowak said, “Definitely, yes.”
Nowak said a woman who first targeted and harassed her transgender uncle and then threw beer bottles at them was behind the wheel.
“She freely just jumped that curb and tried to run them over without a care in the world, and then zoomed off as if she didn’t even hit anybody,” said Nowak’s mother, Jasmine Mendez.
Nowak spent two days in the hospital with a broken wrist, a sliced artery in her hand, and an injured knee that required surgery. While there, she and her mom said they repeatedly tried to tell a Chicago Police officer what happened.
“She literally kept asking, but they did not come, and then when I had to step in and get the police involved, I got the runaround as well,” Mendez said.
Mendez said the initial police report even called it an accident. Days passed, and both said they kept calling the Central District police station to report what they believe is an attempted murder.
Then, Mendez said a CPD detective finally called her last week, more than a month later.
“What they’ve told us is that there’s nothing they can do at this point,” Mendez said. “My daughter almost – she could have been killed. It could have been a different situation. Why does it have to be somebody who loses their life in order for them to respond to a situation?”
The family believes this all started as a hate crime directed at their relative.
A Chicago Police representative could not answer any specific questions about the case, the initial response, or the investigation – except to say it is ongoing.
Nowak and her family believe the woman behind the wheel should be in jail.