The woman who allegedly ran over a Chicago cop while hijacking his squad car on the West Side is a respected accountant and real estate agent who had just been sexually assaulted and took the squad car to “escape the situation,” her defense attorney said Wednesday.
But prosecutor James Murphy painted a much different picture that he said is supported by a substantial amount of video and audio evidence.
Whitley Temple, 34, remained hospitalized at the time of Wednesday afternoon’s bail hearing. Under state law, Judge Kelly McCarthy was barred from granting the state’s motion for a no-bail hold because Temple was not physically present.
Instead, McCarthy set bail at $2 million cash, meaning someone would have to deposit the full bail amount to get Temple out of custody.
Murphy said the incident began around 9:30 a.m. when Temple ran out of a home “naked and irrational” and holding a gun that she fired at witnesses. She fled in a vehicle, struck an AT&T truck, got out of the truck and ran around it before returning to her car and driving away, he said. Portions of those events are on video.
Moments later, another camera recorded Temple getting out of her car in an alley and putting on shorts and flip flops while making random comments, he said.
At one point she looked through her purse saying, “I got a gun. I got a gun,” but no weapon is visible on the footage, Murphy alleged.
Then she drove away and then got out of her car near the 4400 block of West Jackson. CPD surveillance cameras showed that she tried to climb into passing cars, Murphy said.
An officer who was responding to calls of shots fired stemming from her initial gunfire saw her lying half-naked in the street and stopped to help, according to Murphy.
As he radioed for an ambulance, Temple got up from the pavement, started saying his name repeatedly, and walked around him to get into the squad car’s driver’s seat, Murphy continued.
The cop tried to stop her, but she allegedly told him, “Let me go. This has nothing to do with you.”
Two videos that have gone public show what happened next. A city surveillance camera captured this footage of the incident:
And a passerby posted this video to social media. We have shortened it by a few seconds to avoid the woman’s partial nudity.
As the squad car reversed, it dragged the officer into another vehicle and he struck his head. Murphy said it was “a miracle” that the cop survived.
Temple drove the squad car to a gas station, got out of the vehicle while it was still rolling, went into the station, then came back out and drove away with the patrol car again, Murphy said. That was also recorded on video.
Then, she drove onto the inbound Eisenhower Expressway, weaving in and out of traffic at 97 MPH, and was still going 76 MPH when she exited at Sacramento Boulevard and started running red lights on surface streets, Murphy alleged. She struck five occupied cars, got out, and ran down the block until cops arrested her.
At Stroger Hospital, her preliminary toxicology tests came back positive for cannabis and benzydamine, which is commonly used as an oral anti-inflammatory, but it can cause hallucinations in large doses.
The police officer was also taken to Stroger. Doctors closed his head wound with six stitches, Murphy said. According to a source, the cop also suffered a hyperextended knee and it was not yet clear if the officer would be able to return to patrol duties.
Temple’s private defense attorney, Javaron Buckley, said she has degrees in finance and accounting. She operates two businesses, a tax service company and a real estate firm, and has a six-year-old daughter.
Buckley said Temple was “a victim of sexual assault prior to this, which is why she was naked.”
“She had gotten into her car to escape the circumstances that she was facing,” Buckley continued. “That’s the case, your honor.”
“Miss Temple believes she was given something … She’s a product of this situation. We don’t want her to be a prisoner of it.”
Temple is charged with attempted murder of a police officer, vehicular hijacking, aggravated battery of a police officer, resisting, and possessing a stolen law enforcement vehicle, which are all felonies.
She is due in court again on June 21. If she is no longer hospitalized at that time, a judge will consider the state’s no-bail request then.