CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that Leander Bissell, 41, was sentenced to life in prison with the first eligibility of parole after 16 years for the deadly hit-and-run of 51-year-old Cleveland Firefighter Johnny Tetrick in November 2022.

“My heart goes out to Firefighter Tetrick’s three incredibly strong daughters and his family members, his fellow firefighters, and our community today. The past nine months have been filled with grief and loss for a tremendous man and I hope the sentence todays sends a message to the citizens of Cuyahoga County – slow down when you are in an accident zone, be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, and respect the first responders and law enforcement personnel at accident sites.”

Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley

On November 19, 2022, around 8:14 p.m., there was a rollover vehicle accident on Interstate 90 East Bound near Martin Luther King Boulevard in Bratenahl. The Cleveland Division of Police (CPD), the Cleveland Fire Department, and the Bratenahl Police Department (BPD) responded to the scene. Police vehicles and fire department vehicles, with their lights on, were located on the interstate in both left lanes, and traffic merged into the two right lanes.

Leander Bissell drove his vehicle around the left side of the police cruiser (onto the shoulder of the highway), veered right into the second lane on the left, and accelerated his speed according to video evidence. Bissel then struck Cleveland Firefighter Johnny Tetrick as he was clearing debris on scene. Bissell, without braking, immediately fled the scene. Cleveland Firefighter Tetrick was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

An investigation conducted by BPD with assistance from CPD located the vehicle matching the suspected vehicle’s description and suspected damage near East 152nd Street and Ridpath Avenue in Cleveland later that night. Leander Bissell was placed under arrest.

On July 20, 2023, Leander Bissell was found guilty of the following charges:

  • One count of Murder
  • Two counts of Felonious Assault
  • One count of Involuntary Manslaughter
  • One count of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
  • One count of Failure To Stop After Accident
  • One count of Failure To Comply