Doctor mistaken for robbery suspect got injured during arrest, now out of work

There’s two sides to every story, but these stories about a police confrontation in Evanston surfaced Wednesday, may have three: A doctor says he was handcuffed for no reason–but police say they were doing their job.

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On Monday night, Dr. Gregory Hall walked out of the library on Chicago and Main Street in Evanston. afternoon on Chicago Avenue when police confronted him and accused him of committing an armed robbery.

“All of a sudden I hear police cars, sirens. Your heart is pounding, you don’t know what is going on. Your rights are being violated or so you think. You haven’t done anything wrong yet you’re accused of doing something wrong” he told NBC 5.

According to Evanston police, just prior to Hall getting stopped, officers were investigating an attempted armed robbery at a yarn store, and then an armed robbery minutes later at a thrift store a few doors down from the library.

Police dispatch sent out an initial description of the suspect being between 50-60 years old, 5-feet-8-inches and thin. Several Evanston police officers, with their weapons drawn, detained him and placed him in handcuffs, he said.

Police said that when officers spotted Hall, they made what’s called an “investigative stop.” The incident was captured on body cameras worn by the officers at the scene.

That video, not released to the public, shows an officer approaching Hall with his weapon drawn. “I screamed out loud,” Hall recalled. “I said, you’re hurting me … It’s too tight.”

Chief Jay Parrott said what the police did was necessary.

“Because he was moving his hands and wasn’t complying with officers directions, they decided to handcuff him for safety purposes. You have to remember, they were responding to a robbery with a handgun that just occurred so when officers are stopping and it’s a reasonable assumption that that person may be armed with a handgun,” Parrott said.

Hall was placed in handcuffs for several minutes until the manager at the thrift store said he was not the suspect. The store security camera caught a picture of the suspect.

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Hall said police could have gone to the library to check his whereabouts, but refused to do so and takes issue with how he was treated.

Hall believes the confusion would have been eliminated if officers would have confirmed with the library that he had been in there the whole time.

“Now I need to go for an MRI for any ligament damage as well,” he said.

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