clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Evanston man says NU cop roughed him up, referred to slain NY officers during arrest

When John Foley got pulled over for an illegal turn near the main Evanston Public Library Sunday evening, he expected, at most, a ticket.

Instead, says the insurance executive, he got roughed up and learned a painful lesson about the tension between the police and the public in post-Ferguson America.

The Northwestern University police officer who arrested Foley, 52, near the Orrington Avenue library yelled an expletive at him and referred to the two New York Police Department officers gunned down Saturday, Foley said.

“What happened in New York is not a license for them running roughshod,” Foley told the Chicago Sun-Times Monday.

“The event is being reviewed by university police at this time,” Northwestern University Police Cmdr. Darren Davis said Monday morning, declining to elaborate.

Foley said he was nearing the library about 6 p.m. Sunday, when the police officer pulled him over. Foley said the officer told him he’d made an illegal turn from a bicycle lane.

Foley told the officer he wanted to pick up his teenage son outside the library, which was now closed, Foley said. When the officer returned to his squad car, Foley said, he assumed it would be OK to drive the 100 or so yards to get his son. But Foley said the move infuriated the officer. In front of Foley’s son and the boy’s tutor, the officer demanded Foley get out of his car. Foley said the officer slammed him against his car and handcuffed him.

“He face-plants me into my car, scratching my glasses,” Foley said.

Foley said he’d never been handcuffed before. He said he asked the officer to go easy on him — because he’d recently injured his shoulder.

“‘I don’t give a [expletive],’ ” Foley said the officer told him. ” ‘Two cops got killed in New York.’ ”

The tutor, Blair Dunbar, said she heard the officer repeatedly tell Foley to stop “resisting.” But Dunbar said Foley was “just trying to tell them his shoulder was hurting and [that] they were going to pull it out of its socket.”

John Foley said he was taken in a squad car to the police station. Before he was allowed to go home, Foley said, a sergeant pulled him aside and said, “I want everyone to have a good Christmas.”

Foley said he was ticketed for driving without a driver’s license and for driving in a bike lane. He said he isn’t sure of his next move.

He said he’s spoken to a neighbor and friend who is a “senior executive” at the university, and is waiting for a response.