An Illinois man with an IV attached to his arm was arrested last week as he took a stroll outside of a hospital.
Freeport police and 24-year-old Shaquille Dukes, the man arrested, agree Dukes had no intention of stealing the IV machine attached to his body.
He was arrested anyway.
Dukes says he was racially profiled by security guards and police officers.
It happened on June 9 after Dukes had been admitted to the FHN Memorial Hospital for double pneumonia and asthma-related symptoms for two days, according to the Journal Standard.
Doctors told Dukes to take a walk with the IV machine as long as he didn’t leave hospital grounds.
As he and his brother were on the way to walk back in the hospital doors, a security guard ordered the men to follow him across the street.
That’s when things things got ugly.
“He had gotten out of his vehicle and said, ‘What are you going to do, steal that and sell it on eBay?'” Dukes told the Journal Standard.
“I told him, ‘This machine is pumping fluid into my veins as we speak.'”
After a back and forth exchange, the security guard calls police on Dukes, his brother and another man accompanying him at the hospital.
All three men were arrested, despite their story.
Police informed Dukes he was being arrested for attempted theft since he was off of hospital property in possession of medical equipment.
But Dukes and the other two men say they only left the property when the security guard told them to follow his vehicle and were headed back indoors when he approached them.
After being cuffed and arrested, Dukes said his asthma inhaler was taken from him and that police ignored his medical distress as he was being taken to the jail for booking.
He also passed out and suffered a seizure inside the vehicle he was being transported in, but was later given back his inhaler after he regained consciousness.
Last week, Dukes posted videos of the incident to his Facebook page last week, along with his version of events.
Come to Freeport on Vacation and leave on Probation. This is truly one of the most racist cities in America. I was admitted into the hospital for double pneumonia, after receiving doctors orders to walk around, I was stopped by an overzealous, racist, security officer, who claimed that I “was trying to leave the hospital to sell the IV equipment on eBay”. After a brief conversation, the guard called the police, I was advised by Sgt. Jeff Zalaznik, badge number 116, that I was being arrested for attempted theft, of the IV equipment that was clearly attached to my arm. My brother was arrested, and then me. Under the direction of Sgt Zalaznik, officers stood by and watched while my IV was removed on the sidewalk, and it was NOT by a doctor. I told the Sgt I was being treated for pneumonia and asthma, and his words were “I don’t care why you’re here, you’re going to jail”. They took my rescue inhaler and began to transport me to the city lockup, while in transit I began to have a seizure, and subsequently am asthma attack, I pleaded with officers for almost 4 minutes to retrieve my inhaler from the transporting officer, and finally, when I became unresponsive, it miraculously appeared. I make this post not for pity, but as a beacon of hope for all black and brown minorities dealing with the City of Freeport, we do not have to take this shit any longer! I’ve shared contact info for a great attorney who is ready and willing to intervene. This ends today, anyone who sees this, and has been served an injustice or was a victim of a crime initiated by Freeport PD, please reach out.
This week, he filed a racial profiling complaint with the city of Freeport and says he feels the incident would not have occurred if he were a white patient.
The Freeport Police Department issued a statement this week, announcing an internal affairs into the matter has been launched and is urging the public not to rush to judgement until all the facts are in.
The hospital is refusing to comment.