CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago police officer who was left paralyzed after a crash in his patrol vehicle six years ago has been served with eviction papers at the apartment the city has been paying for.
Densey Cole II was driving his police SUV, responding to a burglary call, when he crashed at the intersection of 98th and Halsted streets in May 2009.
His neck broken, and unable to move, Cole could only watch as an onlooker, Rasaan Shannon, approached, called him a pig, and threatened to kill him.
“I couldn’t even move my head,” Cole said. “He rolled me around. He unbuckled me out of the seat, and pushed me over.”
But Shannon didn’t kill Cole. Instead, he stole the officer’s gun and wallet, jumped into his own car nearby, and fled the scene.
“I guess it was really surreal. You know, you run through the whole gamut. ‘No, no, no. Please, please. I’m hurt, and then I was telling him I have kids,’” Cole recalled.
Left a quadriplegic, Cole has been living in an apartment in west suburban Oakbrook Terrace, but he has been notified the city – which holds the lease – has fallen behind on rent by $20,000.
“They’ve made me feel like I’m an afterthought. Out of sight is out of mind. They don’t even want to negotiate. They won’t even discuss or talk about anything. There are no rules,” he said.
Cole said the city promised to outfit his old home in Beverly to accommodate his disability, then said it was going to build him a new home, and now it’s not even paying the rent at his apartment.
“I never expected the city to literally build me a million-dollar mansion somewhere, and have a butler, and live like that, but I certainly didn’t think that they were going to hang me out to dry like this,” he said.
He said he expects he’ll be able to buy more time in court next week, but he doesn’t feel the city has his back.
“I went to work, I was healthy, and now this is how I am. They have, in my opinion, a legal obligation to do the things that would make my life as close to normalcy before. Why should I have to lose any of my civil liberties, because I got injured? It’s wrong. It’s just flat-out wrong,” he said.
The city has not responded to requests for comment.