An Illinois patient has come out claiming that Illinois authorities in Freeport wrongfully arrested him after he was seen walking the streets with an IV. Shaquille Dukes, 24, was admitted to the Freeport Health Network Memorial Hospital on June 9th for pneumonia. Dukes claims that hospital staff advised he get some fresh air and take a walk outside while still connected to his IV.
In an online post, Dukes recalls his encounter with "an overzealous, racist, security officer, who claimed that I 'was trying to leave the hospital to sell the IV equipment on eBay." Officers were soon called on-scene where Dukes and his brother were later arrested for attempted theft of the IV bag, according to Dukes.
"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"," Dukes posted online.
The 24-year-old also claims that the authorities also confinscated his inhaler, from which he later suffered an seizure and asthma attack while in police custody. Duke says that he "pleaded with officers for almost 4 minutes to retrieve my inhaler" before becoming unresponsive and then receiving it.
Freeport Police Department have since released a statement acknowledging a different turn of events that occurred. The authorities say that officers were requested on-scene by the security guard due to disorderly conduct and a verbal dispute.
The department also state that Dukes was not granted permission to leave the hospital, however it was later determined that he was not trying to steal the property.
"Several social media posts have since been created which contain inaccurate information regarding the incident and departmental response. In one of the social media posts, an individual wrote 'officers stood by and watched while my IV was removed on the sidewalk, and it was NOT by a doctor,'" police wrote. "This statement is misleading, as the IV was removed at the request of the subject by FHN medical personnel (not security or police)."
Dukes is currently working with an attorney and has since filed a complaint with the city.