The Iowa doctor who two weeks ago claimed to have been stabbed near the Chicago Riverwalk east of Michigan Avenue has had a change of heart.
He says he stabbed himself and made up the mugging story, but won't say why.
Gary Hunninghake, 63, a doctor from Iowa, posted bond Tuesday after appearing in court to face claims he falsified a police report.
On April 24 Hunninghake, told police "three males grabbed him and held him while one of the offenders took his cellular phone, $350 as well as four of his credit cards and then stabbed him multiple times in the abdomen as well as in the chest," according to Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto.
Police were called and Hunninghake was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Cops, however, traced his credit cards and cell phone and found discrepancies with his story.
Chicago police called Hunninghake in Iowa on May 2 and confronted him with the inconsistencies in his story. He fessed up immediately that he had fabricated the story.
"The defendant then readily admitted that he had made up the entire incident," Scaduto said. "That he in fact had not been robbed nor had he been stabbed by other individuals but had in fact had inflicted those wounds upon himself."
Cops don’t know what motivated him to lie, but officials from the University of Iowa say Hunninghake was placed on paid administrative leave from the university hospital on April 23.
The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety is conducting an investigation into the doctor that involves "personal matters," the official said.
They have issued five search warrants involving the doctor but wouldn't elaborate on what the warrants were for.
"The University of Iowa is aware of the incident in Chicago involving Dr. Hunninghake and takes the matter very seriously," said a statement from the University. "The investigation involving that incident was conducted by the Chicago Police Department and was not part of a joint investigation. The University of Iowa is conducting an investigation that is independent of the investigation that occurred in Chicago."
What they did say is the investigation is not based on any complaints from faculty or students and police have not been called.
If convicted of falsyfing police reports, Hunninghake, once considered one of the top doctors in the nation, could face one to three years in jail.
Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said he wants a "full cost recovery" for the manpower it took to respond and investigate the case.
Hunninghake "embarrassed the city with his story," Weis said, adding that he's calculating the cost of everyone and everything needed to respond to the incident.
Hunninghake is scheduled to be in court next Monday.
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