Man says he was subject of hospital lockdown, says he believes racism led to report of gun
Hospital denies race played a factor.
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A man who says he was the subject of the Thursday, Oct. 25 report of a man with a gun at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, says he believes those who called the cops on him did so out of racism.
Lake Charles Police say witnesses reported a man with a gun near the gift shop, but after a massive police response and a search of the hospital, no gun was found.
Deputy Chief Mark Kraus says the “SWAT team detained the man that allegedly had a gun, and discovered no gun was involved in this incident.”
Edgar Sanchez says he is the man about whom the report was made, but that he was in the gift shop attempting to buy balloons, candy and a teddy bear, but left after no one waited on him.
“The ladies there, they don’t want to sell me nothing. I don’t know why they call the cops,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez says he was at the hospital to pick up his daughter who had surgery for a broken arm on the night of Wednesday Oct. 24 . He said his daughter was scheduled to be released at 10 a.m., so he arrived at 9:30 a.m.
"I don’t even look gangster or something, or Taliban, or something like that. I don’t know. I just go to buy a teddy bear and that’s it.”
He says he waited at the register for 20 to 30 minutes to be waited on, but left after no assisted him. He says it should have been obvious that what he was carrying was a green bottle of soda in a plastic bag.
“I think she don’t like Mexicans, I think is the answer. I don’t know,” Sanchez said. “I don’t have an answer for that. I only went to there. I don’t even look gangster or something or Taliban or something like that. I don’t know. I just go to buy a teddy bear and that’s it.”
The hospital has denied that race played a factor.
Larry Graham, President and CEO of Lake Charles Memorial Helath System said in a statement:
Sanchez says once in his daughter’s room, he was unaware of the lockdown.
“I stayed in the room with my daughter, we were watching cartoons,” he says.
He says when police came and got him, they had about 30 guns pointed at him.
They had “big, big rifles,” he says.
They took him to another room, then took him out to search his truck.
“I feel so bad for my daughter because she saw everything,” he says.
“They can close the door so my daughter can see nothing, but they don’t care about the kid. They are acting like I’m Taliban.”
Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.