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Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Back issues
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Chicagoan Says Cops Shot Him, Took His Shrimp

CHICAGO (CN) - A man claims Chicago cops shot him as he worked on his car in his garage, then delayed calling medical help, interrogated his girlfriend and stole jumbo shrimp from his freezer.

Erick Fields and Ursula Pepin sued the City of Chicago and 17 police officers in Federal Court.

Fields claims removing a license plate from one of his cars in his garage in February 2011 when police Officers Petain Navez and Jose Lomeli came in with their guns drawn.

"Without provocation, defendant Navez shot plaintiff Fields in the abdomen," the complaint states.

"The bullet from defendant Navez's gun pierced plaintiff Fields' liver and exited the right side of his body.

"Plaintiff Fields fell immediately to the ground asking, 'Why did you shoot me?' or words to that effect.

"Instead of administering first aid or calling for an ambulance immediately, defendant Navez swore, and then turned and left the garage," the complaint states.

Pepin, who was in the house, "went outside in her pajamas to see what was happening, and was met by defendant officers who refused to let her into her garage, and refused to tell her what had happened," the complaint states. She says one of the cops "physically removed plaintiff Pepin from her own property, depositing her in the alley and causing a bruise on her upper arm."

The complaint continues: "Meanwhile, alone inside the garage and afraid he was dying, plaintiff Fields used his cell phone to call plaintiff Pepin. When she did not answer (because she was already outside), plaintiff Fields called his mother and told her the police had just shot him and he needed help.

"While plaintiff Fields was on the phone with his mother, defendant Lomeli entered the garage and took his phone away from him, terminating his call with his mother.

"On information and belief, only after plaintiff Fields was observed talking on his cell phone, did one of the defendant officers summon an ambulance for him.

"One or more of defendant officers then opened the overhead door of the garage, allowing plaintiff Pepin to see, from her position in the alley, that plaintiff Fields was lying on the floor of the garage with three police officers standing over him.

"One of the defendant officers told plaintiff Pepin that plaintiff Fields was fine and could get up and walk if he wanted to, but he just chose not to, or words to that effect."

Defendant Officers Brian Tedeschi and Albert Perez then put Pepin in a squad car and held her there for 2 hours, the complaint states.

It continues: "While plaintiff Pepin was forcibly kept away from her home, unknown officers entered and searched plaintiff's home without a search warrant or any other legal justification to do so.

"On information and belief, during the approximately three to four hours following the shooting, as many as seventy-five Chicago police officers, and perhaps more, were either inside or outside plaintiffs' home and/or garage at various times."

During the search, "unknown officers even removed insulation and pieces of drywall to look inside the walls of plaintiff's home," the complaint states.

The cops left the house in total disarray, and "unknown officers stole United States' currency from the pocket of a shirt hanging in plaintiffs' bedroom closet," the complaint states.

"During this illegal search, unknown officers also stole expensive food items from a freezer in plaintiffs' basement, including packages of jumbo shrimp and filet mignon," the complaint states.

Fields and Pepin say the police brought dog to search their property, but "there was nothing illegal in either plaintiffs' home or their garage."

Fields says he was finally taken to surgery that night.

"During surgery, approximately 90 percent of plaintiff Fields' liver had to be removed due to damage from the bullet," the complaint states.

"Plaintiff Fields required multiple blood transfusions to replace the blood he lost on the floor of his garage and during surgery.

"Sometime that night, defendants [Officers Donald] Falk, [Anthony] Noradin and [Ronald] Banas questioned plaintiff Fields while he was still in the emergency room and later conveyed false information about this interview to other detectives.

"Plaintiff Fields was gravely ill for several weeks and remained in the hospital for nearly a month."

Fields and Pepin seek punitive damages for excessive force, failure to provide timely medical care, unlawful seizure, unlawful search, unlawful entry, conspiracy, battery, false imprisonment, emotional distress, trespass and conversion.

They are represented by Torreya Hamilton.

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