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
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.