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Ill. officer defends handcuffing, dragging nurse

By Frank Main
Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO — A Chicago Police officer today apparently defended his decision to handcuff a nurse who had refused to draw blood from a suspected drunken driver involved in a fatal accident until the driver was admitted to the hospital.

The officer arrested the female driver on Aug. 1, then asked the head emergency room nurse at Advocate Illinois Masonic Center to draw blood from the driver to determine her blood-alcohol level.

But the nurse, Lisa Hofstra, told the officer she could not take blood from the driver until the driver was admitted to the hospital.

The officer then handcuffed Hofstra and took her to a squad car where she sat in the back seat for about 45 minutes, according to a lawsuit Hofstra filed last month against the city and the officer claiming her rights were violated.

This morning on the Don Wade & Roma Show on WLS-AM (890), a man who called in to the program said he was the officer involved in the incident.

The man, who only identified himself as “Officer Roger,” said he was in the emergency room for more than 3 1/2 hours. He said he arrived at about 4:30 a.m. and finally obtained the blood test on the driver after 7 a.m.

Asked if a person’s blood-alcohol level can change radically over that period, he answered: “my point exactly.”

“There’s a lot more to the story,” the man said, “but because of the litigation, I can’t go into it.”

The woman arrested in the fatal accident has been charged with felony aggravated DUI, as well as other offenses, authorities say.

Copyright 2009 Chicago Sun-Times

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