Oak Lawn man's motorized wheelchair likely stolen after he was rushed to hospital, told CPD would keep it safe

Sarah Schulte Image
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Oak Lawn man misses dialysis after his wheelchair was likely stolen
Man was told police would keep his wheelchair safe when he was taken to the hospital, then it was stolen.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A severe stroke 16 years ago left Emmanuel Conner paralyzed on the left side of his body.

He needs help maneuvering a manual wheelchair, but the 57-year-old Oak Lawn resident says a motorized wheelchair allows him to function on his own.

"I go on my own to and from dialysis treatment by myself three days a week from my power wheelchair," Conner said.

Tuesday's dialysis treatment was canceled after Conner's motorized wheelchair was stolen near 87th and South Holland in Chatham.

Conner took the bus to Lowe's when he developed chest pains and called 911 for an ambulance.

"The back of the ambulance the paramedic tell me 'we can't take your chair but we are going to call the Chicago Police Department and see if they can take it to one of their garages,'" Conner said.

Conner was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital and was discharged a few hours later.

Not sure if police were able to get the chair, Conner sent a relative back to 87th and Holland, but the wheelchair was gone. Police believe it was stolen.

There is confusion over who is responsible for a motorized wheelchair when it's owner is taken to the hospital.

While Conner said paramedics told him police would take care of it, CPD said it is the fire department's responsibility.

However, there is no city policy for situations like this.

Conner said insurance will pay for 80 percent of a replacement, but he must come up with 20 percent which could be hundreds of dollars.

"I don't have it, but I got to do what I got to because they are legs I don't walk," he said.