Nurse arrested on the job sues police

September 22, 2009 9:12:46 AM PDT
A nurse is suing the Chicago Police Department after her arrest at Illinois Masonic Hospital.Lisa Hofstra was handcuffed when she did not give a DUI suspect a blood test.

VIDEO: Nurse sues over arrest

Hofstra claims she told the arresting officer that the suspect would have to be a hospital patient first.

The nurse held a press conference on Monday to announce that she has filed the lawsuit over the disputed blood test.

Lisa Hofstra says she encounters police officers all the time during her work in the emergency room, has a good relationship with them and would not want to keep them from doing their jobs. But she says she was just trying to do her job last month when she was arrested.

"I still can't believe that happened. I did absolutely nothing wrong," said Lisa Hofstra, emergency room nurse.

Lisa Hofstra was in charge of the emergency room at Illinois Masonic Hospital in the early morning hours of august first when she says an already hectic shift took a turn for the worst.

"This particular officer was quite belligerent with me and staff from the second he walked in our doors," said Hofstra.

Hofstra says the officer brought a suspected drunk driver into the ER and demanded a blood alcohol test for the woman.

Hofstra says she explained that it's hospital protocol to first register a person as a patient before conducting a medical procedure. That's when Hofstra says the officer became argumentative with both her and her supervisor. At one point, he had to be removed from the nurses station by security but he came back.

"He snucked up behind me grabbed my arms. I didn't even realize what was happening...I just saw the faces of the people in front of me before I realized I was in handcuffs," said Hofstra.

Hospital surveillance video shows Hofstra in handcuffs, being walked out of the hospital and into the back of the officer's squad car.

Her attorney points out that the officer is seen smiling while she sat for 45 minutes before being released.

"Literally he held her hostage until there was a blood test done," said Blake Horwitz, Hofstra's attorney.

Horwitz filed a lawsuit on her behalf against the city of Chicago and the officer, alleging excessive force and false arrest.

"I would like this officer to be reprimanded for doing this. I don't like the thought of him being on the street," said Hofstra.

Hofstra is filing this lawsuit on her own, independent of the hospital. There is no comment on the matter from Illinois Masonic.

This case is also being reviewed by the Independent Police Review Authority.


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