By JOE GORMAN
Police say one of the reasons it took so long to build a case against a woman suspected of injuring five people in a hit-and-run
accident on the South Side in February is that she’s hard to find.
In fact, officers were searching for 20-year-old Rochelle B. Taylor on Friday, a day after she was indicted on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an
accident and a misdemeanor count of obstructing
official business. The Feb. 8 accident on Hylda Avenue
happened during a candlelight vigil for 23-year-old Robert Brown, who was killed during a hit-and-run accident on the same street about a week before.
Police managed to trace the car later that night to the Brandywine apartment complex on the West Side and towed it, and also interviewed Taylor, said Detective Sgt. Patricia Garcar, head of the department’s Accident Investigation Unit.
Garcar said Taylor denied
any involvement in the
accident at first but later
admitted she was the driver. She also was driving a car that was not hers without the permission of the owner, and Taylor does not have a license, Garcar said.
Taylor has no fixed
address, and Garcar said that hindered the investigation because it took a long time to find her to
A crowd was on the street mourning the death of Brown, who was killed the week before by a hit-and-run driver who was not indicted until July. Garcar said Taylor knew none of the people at the vigil nor anyone in Brown’s family.
“There’s no connection,” Garcar said.
Michael J. Johnson, 24, was indicted in July in Brown’s death. Reports said Brown was killed as he was leaving a bar on Hylda Avenue and walking to his car when he was hit by a car going at a high speed that did not stop.
Court records show there is a warrant for Johnson’s arrest because he failed to appear at his Aug. 8 arraignment in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.