Iowa doctor admits making up Riverwalk stabbing

May 11, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Gary Hunninghake says the alleged April 24th attack never happened, and that he stabbed himself.

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis says there were a lot of inconsistencies and downright contradictions in Hunninghake's story. City officials had been concerned that his story would tarnish Chicago's image as a tourist destination.

Hunninghake is charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

He is a medical professor at the University of Iowa where he is involved in research to discover new treatments for patients.

Police say Hunninghake originally told them he was jogging on the 100-block of E. Lower Wacker Drive on the Riverwalk when he was approached by three men who took his wallet and Blackberry and then stabbed him.

Detectives said they found holes in Hunninghake's story during an intense investigation.

They eventually confronted him, and he confessed to filing a false report.

"This city is then shown in a light like, well if you're in downtown Chicago, we had someone that was mugged and he's a visitor from outside in Iowa," said Weis. "That's pretty outrageous claims for someone to make."

The incident happened a day after Hunninghake was put on administrative leave from the University of Iowa. A spokesperson at the school would not elaborate Tuesday, and only said that he is the focus of an investigation there.

In the meantime, Chicago's top cop says a lot of time and effort by police went in to investigating Hunninghake's claim of being attacked, and he said that Hunninghake should reimburse the city.

"At a time when resources are already stretched thin, Mr. Hunninghake's actions were not only criminal, but irresponsible and unfair to the residents and the visitors of our great city," said Weis.

Following the April incident, Hunninghake was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He recovered and returned to his home in Iowa.

During his confession, he said the wounds were self-inflicted.

Hunninghake turned himself in to police Monday and is being held on $25,000 bond.

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