Oak Park, IL — Over the years, TFTP has reported on countless cases of incompetent police officers mistaking innocent people for suspects. Many times those suspects are beaten, arrested, and even killed. The ignorance involved in many of these cases is overwhelming as a recent incident out of Oak Park, Il. illustrates. An innocent pair of great-grandparents were mistaken by police as bank robbers and nearly killed.
Earlier this week, Ottis Dugar, 86, and his 67-year-old wife Demitri had done nothing wrong, committed no crime, yet they were swarmed by cops as they drove out of Oak Park Bank on their way to grab a meal at Denny’s. The great-grandparents said cops surrounded their car at gun point, ordered them out, handcuffed and detained them for nearly an hour.
Ottis recalled being afraid that the cops were going to kill him.
“I really had to think, sir,” Ottis said. “If I would’ve made any false move, they would have started shooting.”
As WLS reports, Ottis is a Korean War veteran with glaucoma and Demitri is diabetic. They said the incident happened after they left their Oak Park Bank. Demtiri was driving Ottis to a Denny’s when they were surrounded by Oak Park and River Forest police, all with guns drawn.
Demetri explained that she couldn’t get out of the car fast enough due to her knee and she was afraid cops were going to kill her right there.
“Yelling, ‘Get out of the car! Put your hands up!’ And when I’m having a bad knee, I cannot get out,” Demitri said. “They asked me, ‘Who’s in the car?’ I said my husband. ‘What’s his name?’ I said it’s Ottis. ‘Does he have a gun in the car?’ I said no, we don’t have any guns. ‘Well if he’s got a gun in the car we’re going to shoot him!'”
The great-grandparents were then temporarily kidnapped and restrained as the mistaken cops tried to figure out who they just assaulted with deadly weapons. The cops brought out bank employees to identify the couple who were able to quickly tell the cops they had the wrong suspects.
“Yes, sir,” Ottis said sarcastically. “Bonnie and Clyde.”
Demtri explained how ridiculous this case of mistaken identity was as Ottis is nearly blind and she can’t walk fast at all.
“He can’t see to drive! And I can’t even walk fast, less only run. But we’re bank robbers,” Demitri marveled.
At least at the end of the debacle, Ottis says a sergeant on the scene did apologize. It is unclear whether or not they actually found the real bank robbers.
Below is the statement released from the village of Oak Park in regard to the incident:
It was a case of mistaken identity based on the initial report of an eye witness to an armed robbery of the U.S. Bank, 6011 North Avenue, at about 11:30 a.m. today. The witness provided a description of the car and its license plate number to the 911 operator, who broadcast the information. The car was stopped by River Forest Police on North Avenue. When Oak Park officers arrived, the two occupants of the vehicle were handcuffed and placed in separate cars as is procedure in a felony stop. A show-up was conducted at the stop and the witness continued to say the individuals were the ones seen leaving the bank. However, a teller from the bank brought to the show up corrected the information. The couple was immediately released and officers involved in the incident apologized for the mistaken identity. Officers reported that the man was in his 60s and the woman in her 50s, but no specific information on them was gathered. Officers also said the couple did not express any anger or concern about the incident, which all occurred within just a few minutes.
While the Dugars escaped relatively unharmed, other people haven’t been so lucky. In November, David Glen Ward was the victim of a carjacking. Like he was told to do, he reported this attack and theft to police. Sadly, however, after he would get his green Honda Civic back in December, police would mistake him for the thief, pull him over and kill him. It was all caught on video.