Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Arrested Man Patted Down Four Times, Still Has Gun

A man arrested on a drug charge was able to "survive" four pat-downs, and still keep his gun, showing an alarming security hole, and perhaps a lack of training.

Bennie Ellison, 39, was arrested March 18 and managed to keep the gun all the way until he reached the Cook County Jail where, realizing he would have to disrobe and change his clothes, he dumped it in a laundry room.

He was patted down four times:
  • The arresting officers patted him down and missed it.
  • He was patted down again at the 4th District police station (where he spent the night)
  • He was patted down at Central Booking
  • He was patted down at the courthouse
How did he avoid the metal detector at the courthouse?

It was a small, .380 semiautomatic handgun and Ellison used the drawstring of his shorts to tie the gun so it dangled between his legs. According to a police spokesman he slipped out of line and into a different line.

Ellison held onto the gun thinking he would be granted low bail and released.

Cook County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Patterson said:
“Clearly, there were officers at the jail not doing their job and we’re in the process of taking statements from each one of them about how this could have happened. We’re taking this seriously and plan to enact discipline up to and including termination, if necessary.”
Yeah, well, I hope so.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

That he got through the metal detector is the most disturbing part; there must be a way of doing so, but the officers could almost be forgiven for not finding a gun that was dangling between the suspect's legs! If they'd patted down that area, they'd probably have been taken to court for sexual harassment of a suspect...

As you say, though, failing to disarm a suspect is completely unacceptable, and hopefully this incident will be a catalyst to develop improved methods for doing so.

Anonymous said...

um. i believe they are supposed to pat down between the legs. if not then i've been sexually harassed every time i've been arrested.

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Anonymous said...

Oh, I know, it's just the way they described it, it sounded like the gun wasn't just dangling between his legs but right over his privates! No doubt there are still procedures for checking that general area, though, or everyone would be doing it. It's just that I could almost see how it could happen were it not for him getting through the metal detector with it as well!

Anonymous said...

What possible metal detector could he have gone through. There is no "central booking" in Chicago. You get arrested brought to the district that arrested you. If they can keep you overnight there you go to the area holding overni ght. In the morning you go to bond court. Since you have been in holding they bring you into court through the back of the courthouse. No metal detectors. If you go to bond court at the county, (26th and California) which is where he was because it's the only facility with laundry (no detainees in the laundry room) you go to video court. You never leave the holding area. You walk the 25 feet from the bull pen to the camera. I think this story is a crock of s***. As incompetetent as Cook County is I have a hard time believing this. Especially since they DO strip search and make you bend and spread 'em.

Max Furniture said...

I believe they are supposed to pat down between the legs. if not then i've been sexually harassed every time i've been arrested.

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