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.