The Daily Southtown, Tinley Park, Ill.
A Chicago police officer is under investigation after video footage surfaced of him giving ex-pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan a ride in a squad car along the tarmac of O’Hare International Airport.
The approximately three-minute video was posted on Hogan’s Facebook page on Aug. 2 under a post that says, “Thank you Chicago PD much love!!!!!” In the footage, Hogan was sitting in the front-passenger seat of the squad car while Jimmy Hart, a longtime wrestling manager, sat behind him.
Meanwhile, the on-duty officer, who is assigned to the airport, was seen driving with the siren blaring.
“My Uber’s got a siren,” Hogan joked.
“We love Chicago PD,” said the cameraman, who was seated in the back beside Hart.
“Yes, sir. Chicago PD for life,” Hogan replied.
A spokesman for police Superintendent Eddie Johnson could not say if the officer has been relieved of his police powers, but the department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation.
The officer, however, will lose a special certification that allows cops to drive vehicles on the tarmac, spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
“The activity and behavior demonstrated in that video poses a significant risk to the officers and overall aviation safety on the airfield,” he said. “The superintendent was furious about what he saw.”
But the footage appeared to suggest the officer might not be the only one under scrutiny in the investigation. He claimed in the video to have received permission from a supervisor to chauffeur around Hogan and Hart.
“Don’t get in trouble doing this,” Hart said to the officer.
“… My sergeant. He’s all for it,” the officer replied.
At one point in the video, Hogan outstretched his arms and yelled, “Watch the truck!”
Also in the video, the cameraman focused on Hart.
“We’re going to Rosemont Horizon, baby,” said Hart, using the former name for what is currently known as Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont. “It’s where all the memories are made by Hulkamania! Years and years ago.”
A search of the arena’s website doesn’t show any wrestling-related events scheduled for Aug. 2 or in the following days. But a post on Hogan’s Twitter page on Aug. 2 said he and Hart were in town for the National Sports Collectors Convention, which was held from July 31 to Aug. 4 in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
Hogan, meanwhile, said at one point in a flippant tone, “It’s just not normal driving around without a siren on.”
“We need to get one of those,” the cameraman then quipped.
Hogan and the cameraman also talked about a large crowd at the baggage claim area.
“That’s why I don’t have a problem doing this,” the officer said, referring to an apparent effort to keep Hogan and Hart away from the baggage claim area.
Hogan, who once told entertainment news site TMZ that he wanted to be Donald Trump’s running mate before the 2016 presidential election, appeared to take a subtle swipe at Chicago’s Democratic political leadership, though it’s unclear if he was referring to Mayor Lori Lightfoot or her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel.
“Question for you,” Hogan said to officer. “Are you guys gonna elect that same mayor this year?”
Hogan’s comment appeared to make the cameraman a little nervous before he ended the video.
“Let me get off this live here … we don’t… we love Chicago,” he said.
Representatives for Hogan and Hart could not be reached for comment.
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