Baltimore police can't confirm Carson's story of holdup

Posted at 3:52 PM, Oct 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-13 16:52:44-04

Based on available information, Baltimore police can't verify Republican presidential contender Ben Carson's account that he was held at gunpoint at a fast-food restaurant in the city, the department said Tuesday.

Carson, a retired Johns Hopkins Hospital pediatric neurosurgeon, told Sirius XM Radio last Wednesday he was in a Popeyes restaurant while working as a doctor in Baltimore when a man came in and put a gun in his ribs.

"I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter,'" Carson told "Urban View" host Karen Hunter.

"He said, 'Oh, OK,'" Carson said.

Carson didn't say when the incident occurred. He was director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins from 1984 to 2013.

Baltimore police said they've searched several databases of incident reports at Popeyes restaurants as far back as 1987 in response to news media requests. They have found none that mention Carson. Reports from earlier years cannot be searched without a report number, Wayne Brooks, a legal affairs assistant, said in a written statement.

Brooks said a database of arrests from 1967 to 2001 cannot be productively searched without the name of the person arrested.

"Hopefully, this explanation is satisfactory for our friends in the media and shows that BPD has done a diligent search for reports of any incident involving Dr. Carson," Brooks wrote.

Asked to clarify the timing of the incident, Carson spokesman Doug Watts said the incident happened "30-plus years ago."

Carson drew criticism last week for calling for potential victims of mass shootings to rush the gunman. After the attack at a college campus in Roseburg, Oregon, on Oct. 1, when nine people were gunned down, Carson said he would "not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, 'Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can't get us all.'"