A former mayoral candidate in Hoffman Estates says he was brutally harassed and unjustly arrested by police last week.Christopher L. Bollyn, 49, of Hoffman Estates filed a written complaint against the chief of police and village manager complaining of a false arrest.
But Village Attorney Dick Williams said the papers are merely a summary of his account of the arrest, and have no legal effect.
Hoffman Estates police received a 911 call from Bollyn just after 8 p.m. last Tuesday, complaining of a suspicious vehicle in his neighborhood. The vehicle, according to Lt. Rich Russo, was a normal tactical unit patrolling for gang- and drug-related behavior. Police officers in these semi-marked units are undercover and wear body armor, Russo said.
“They weren’t there for any other reason than to patrol,” Russo said, “doing what they do.”
When officers came to Bollyn’s home at 220 Kingman Lane to explain that the vehicle was an undercover police unit, he allegedly became upset and began yelling and screaming. His actions gave the three officers on the scene reason to believe he was going into his home to get a weapon, Russo said, so they stunned him with a Taser gun in order to handcuff him.
Bollyn was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest and was taken into police custody. He was released later that evening after posting $100 bail.
But Bollyn tells a different story of his arrest. An investigative journalist for the American Free Press, Bollyn has published several articles in the last week describing how he was attacked and beaten by undercover police.
He believes the police vehicle was not just driving by his home by chance. Because of his research related to the Sept. 11 World Trade Center deaths, Bollyn said the FBI has been watching him for years. Last summer, he said he discovered that two people he had known for years were actually FBI informants. As a result, he was reluctant to return to his Hoffman Estates home with his wife and two young children.
“I have reason to fear the FBI,” he said. “They’ve been informing on me for years.”
There’s more to this story, but not in the way that you might think. Chris and his family are off-and-on members of Holy Moly, and my strongest memory of him is from Easter Vigil two years ago, kneeling at the Altar of Repose for the better part of an hour (last years’ observance is on the church blog here, the photo shows the 2005 Altar). We hadn’t seen them around much since then; he and his family travel a lot, live in Europe
much of the time, and they don’t get back “home” very often.
As in the photo, there is much that is obscure, much that is dark, and only a few points of light.
Chris is a journalist for a publication specializing in the kind of stories that many people would see as “kooky” or hard to believe… or difficult to stomach. He has some unusual views on who bears ultimate responsibility for 9/11, but he has the right to hold them and to publicize them, and I have the right to say “Okay, well… another cup of coffee, Chris?” It’s not right that his personal 9/11 should result
in a bunch of suburban cops in flak jackets jumping all over him in his own front yard while his wife and daughter watched. Whether or not it was actually the FBI, and not the local gendarmery out on a drug reconnoiter, that jumped all over him in his front yard is impossible to say. In my opinion, it probably wasn’t the Feds, although I think it’s entirely likely that his name is on a list or two, based on the kinds of stories he tends to write.
I hope he and his wife and kids are all right. I like them – they’re interesting, colorful people, always good for a story, but there’s always a little edginess to their conversation. The kids are pretty free-range; they’ve been raised all over the world and probably don’t have much in common with most suburban kids their age.
I think his experience will only reinforce his worldview that there’s a vast international conspiracy out there pulling the strings for every major catastrophe and inexplicable malady, and he’ll never believe that his arrest might be a simple failure to communicate. Sadly, there’s no way to disprove it to him now, because of the over-reaction of the local authorities. Their side of the story is by no means the whole truth, either.
iTunes: Wendy Carlos: Two Part Invention in D minor: Switched-On Bach 2000 [0:59]