CHICAGO (WLS) --A popular handyman in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood says he was unjustly detained by Chicago police officers while he was just trying to do his job. Some neighbors said they are "horrified" by the way he was treated.
Julian Collins, of JC Enterprises, said he was inside a home he was hired to be in when Chicago police say they were called to the home by a neighbor. But for what happened after that, Collins says he deserves an apology.
"He's your go-to guy for no matter what it is, no matter what time of day or night," neighbor Donna Kiddy said.
Collins says he does a lot of his handywork when most people sleep. But one neighbor wasn't aware of his nocturnal routine schedule early Thursday morning.
"The police was called saying that there was a guy with a black mask on with a long metal object in his hand," Collins said.
At the time, Collins said he was spreading paint on the walls of this second-story condo in the 4700-block of N. Talman.
"I looked in the living room and saw six officers with their guns out, drawn, telling me to 'Get down, get down.' I explained to them the situation, 'I was painting, I was hired,'" Collins said.
That's when Collins said six officers from the 19th District forced him to the floor in handcuffs.
"His wrists were indented of where the handcuffs were so tight," Kiddy said.
"There was fresh paint on the walls and they proceeded to tell each other the same thing over and over," Collins said. "'You don't belong her, why you painting this late at night?' And I'm just like, this don't make any sense."
He said officers interrogated him for 40 minutes.
"Once they got there and seen he was painting, that should have been a misunderstanding. It all went down wrong," Kiddy said.
"They thought I broke in the place to rob it. But the house is empty, there's nothing to steal," Collins said.
When he said police finally confirmed he'd been hired to be there, they simply walked out.
ABC7's Liz Nagy asks: "Do you feel lucky you got out like that?"
"Yes. They came in with flashlights and guns out. Being realistic, if I'd made any false move I probably would have died," Collins said.
ABC7 reached out to the Chicago Police Department and the Alderman's office for the neighborhood.
Chicago police will only confirm that they were called out to the neighborhood. No charges were filed.
They also said Collins is free to file a complaint with the department. He says he just wants an apology.