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Dad Trapped in County Jail for 30 Hours Sues

Man visiting his son was forced to relieve himself while trapped in a small Cook County Jail room and ignored.

Farad Polk at his Monday press conference discussing his lawsuit against Cook County.
Farad Polk at his Monday press conference discussing his lawsuit against Cook County.

A visitor trapped in the Cook County Jail for 32 hours over the Independence Day weekend — who was found only after he broke a sprinkler head so someone would notice him — has decided to sue.

Farad Polk, 51, who was at the jail on July 5 to visit his son, filed a civil suit Monday and spoke at a press conference.

When jail staff finally found Polk, they handcuffed him and questioned him. He'd been directed to an 8-foot-by-8-foot room that he thought was a visitors room, but the steel door locked behind him. 

When his son — who is awaiting trial on drug charges — wasn't brought to him, Polk realized something was wrong and grew fearful. Polk was trapped there without food, water, a toilet or a phone. Polk kicked the door and screamed but no one heard him, even though Polk said he could hear jail guards talking in the hallway.

"I had actually lost track of time because there was no way to tell time," Polk said at his press conference.

His lawyer, Cannon Lambert, said Polk was forced to relieve himself in the room, and he cut his hands on the fire sprinkler he broke to try to get attention. He was found at about 1 a.m. Monday after arriving at the jail Saturday evening.

"That 30 hours … it felt like 300 to him," Lambert said.

The room was in an area of the jail that was under construction. Cook County jail officials said the incident has compelled them to review all procedures for visitors.

"We remain very sorry for what Mr. Polk went through and focused on making sure it does not happen again," Cara Smith, director of the Cook County Jail, told the Chicago Tribune.

The lawsuit claims emotional distress and negligence. 



shirley July 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM
Anyone can sue if they think they’ve been wronged. Doesn’t mean they are going to win but they have the right to sue. Aren’t you equally angered that James F. DiJohn, former head of school security at Niles North High School, was allowed to plead guilty to reduced theft charges after being charged with felony theft for stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronic equipment from the school and then selling it on eBay? What about his sentence of 24 months probation and being ordered to pay court fees and fines of $609? Your tax dollars pay for your schools so aren’t you outraged he was not ordered to pay restitution for the thousands of dollars he profited from the sale of those stolen goods? You’re okay with his explanation for stealing in the first place; he had two kids in college and was having financial problems?
SouthSide July 15, 2014 at 03:03 PM
Wow. I bet if the man was not black the comments here would be different. The poor guy was locked in a holding area for over a day, then cuffed and grilled as if he was a criminal. He deserves some restitution.
j July 15, 2014 at 05:18 PM
Something strange how this could happen. I think you have to sign in and out when you visit jails.
J3 July 15, 2014 at 09:38 PM
Well it didn't very long for one of you idiots to pull the race card! Morons!
sophia July 18, 2014 at 09:17 PM
AND the ghetto lottery begins again! dumb "man"!

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