Suit: Man beaten during false arrest at Stroger
Thursday, March 10, 2011
by Cynthia Dizikes
A man who says he was tackled and arrested for no reason by police at
Stroger Hospital while on his way to a doctor’s appointment has filed a
lawsuit against the hospital in Cook County Circuit Court.
James Spidle, 56, alleges in the lawsuit that he had
just walked into the hospital to see his cardiologist at about 9:20 a.m.
on August 9, 2010 when he noticed two people arguing near the door. As
Spidle walked past those two, an officer with Stroger’s police force
began yelling at him, the complaint states.
According to the lawsuit, Spidle told the officer he had
done nothing wrong and attempted to continue to his appointment,
prompting the officer to say, “You’re going to show me your I.D. if I
have to lock your ass up.”
When Spidle attempted to walk away, several police
officers jumped on his back and forced him to the ground, according to
the lawsuit. Spidle alleges that the officers then stomped on his chest,
dragged him to the hospital’s security office, grabbed him by the neck,
and slammed him face first into the floor.
While in the security office, Spidle said that a
lieutenant put a baton under his neck and said, “Move again (expletive
delted), I’ll choke you to death.” The hospital police officers then
dragged Spidle into a cell, threw him onto a bench, and handcuffed him,
the complaint states.
Spidle alleges that he told the lieutenant that the
surveillance video should show he did nothing wrong. After the
lieutenant viewed the video, he returned to Spidle’s cell and told him
“my officers had no reason to put their hands on you, you didn’t do
anything,” according to the lawsuit.
Before they released him, Spidle alleges that he
overheard the lieutenant yelling at the police officers for getting the
A hospital spokesman declined to comment this week on the allegations in Spidle’s lawsuit.
The hospital police force came under scrutiny in 2007
after officers arrested a reporter covering a protest, and allegedly
beat up a 77-year-old man who was waiting outside the facility for his
There was subsequently an unsuccessful move to privatize hospital security.
Spidle is suing the hospital and “unknown Stroger
Hospital police officers” for an unspecified amount of money, alleging
that he was falsely arrested and suffered injuries, including rib
contusions, wrist pain, ankle pain, and mental anguish.