A video of a black Freeport, Ill., patient being arrested while taking a walk outside a hospital has gone viral after he shared the incident on Facebook.
The video shows Shaquille Dukes, 24, walking outside FHN Memorial Hospital on June 9, wearing a hospital gown and attached to an IV. According to Dukes, who had been hospitalized with pneumonia for two days, he was cleared by a doctor to walk outside the building—just as long as he didn’t leave the property.
But as the Journal-Standard reports, while Dukes and two companions were making their way back to the building, they were stopped a security guard who called them over to his car, taking them off hospital property. The guard then accused them of attempting to steal the equipment, Dukes wrote on Facebook.
“[The guard] 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.’”
Detached from his IV and without his rescue inhaler—which Dukes says was taken by the police—he passed out shortly after being arrested.
Because their investigation showed what was pretty damn obvious at first blush that Dukes was a patient, and not trying to engineer some elaborate caper to steal one single IV—Dukes wasn’t charged with attempted theft. But he was charged with disorderly conduct, according to Freeport Police Lt. Andrew Schroeder.
Schroeder told the Journal-Standard the public shouldn’t rush to judgment about what happened based on the videos.
“The issue here is that his actions were why he was arrested,” he said. “Had they been able to engage in a civil discourse with hospital security, we wouldn’t have been called at all.”
Dukes told the news outlet he filed a formal complaint with the city and was scheduled to meet Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow to discuss the incident.
“I’m not just going to sit here and be complacent about what I know is an illegality,” Dukes said.