CLEVELAND (AP) — The driver accused in the fatal hit-and-run of a Cleveland patrolman kept his hands clasped in front of his face Thursday while a judge set a $500,000 bond in Cleveland Municipal Court.
Israel Alvarez, 44, of Lorain, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and failing to stop after a fatal accident in the death of 39-year-old Patrolman David Fahey. Fahey was struck Tuesday morning while setting down flares to close lanes on Interstate 90 after an earlier fatal accident.
Alvarez did not enter a plea Thursday. It’s expected that he’ll be assigned an attorney at a hearing next week. A public defender in the courtroom on Thursday said Alvarez has five children, including a 10-day-old, and has worked as a construction laborer the last five years.
A prosecutor asked the judge for a high bond because of Alvarez’s criminal past, noting that Alvarez had just been released from probation in Lorain County in December. Court records show he pleaded guilty in 2015 to drug trafficking, heroin possession and other charges.
A court affidavit filed in court Wednesday by a Cleveland police accident investigator said Alvarez disregarded emergency lights on numerous vehicles when he struck Fahey at more than 60 mph in the high-speed lane of the interstate. Alvarez’s badly damaged car was found several hours later by a Department of Homeland Security agent in the rear driveway of Alvarez’s father’s home in Lorain, about 30 miles west of Cleveland. He was arrested outside the home at gunpoint.
Cleveland police officers brought Fahey’s handcuffs from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office to use on Alvarez.
Fahey joined the Cleveland police department in July 2014. His Facebook page says he previously served in the U.S. Navy as an aviation boatswain mate and then worked as an emergency medical technician for a private ambulance company and a technician at the Cleveland Clinic. Fahey’s mother and stepfather are retired Cleveland police officers. His brother joined the department in 2013.
Cleveland.com has reported that Fahey’s father was killed by a hit-and-run driver on a highway exit ramp near downtown Cleveland in 1978. The news site reported that the 21-year-old David Fahey Sr. had stopped to help a co-worker change a tire when he was struck by a motorist who sped off.
A viewing for Fahey is scheduled Friday at Chambers Funeral Home in North Olmsted. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Saturday at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church in Cleveland.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has ordered flags flown at half-staff at the Statehouse and Cuyahoga County buildings on Saturday to honor Fahey.