Part of the jail where Polk was trapped. Division 9
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
A Chicago man who was stuck inside the Cook County Jail for 32 hours earlier this month has now filed a lawsuit alleging negligence.
Fifty-one year old Farad Polk went to visit his son on July 5th, something he said he has done every week since his son was arrested on drug charges a year ago. Now he might be too traumatized to go back anytime soon.
“It really just hurt me and saddened me that me myself, personally wasn't emotionally strong enough to go see him over the weekend,” Polk said at a news conference with his attorney.
Polk described how after checking in he was directed down a hallway where he was to meet his son. He entered a visiting room and within five minutes knew something was wrong.
“Normally they bring the inmates down a little late so I'm waiting sitting there for five minutes I'm like this ain't right, so I turned around to buzz out and there ain't nothing to buzz out on,” Polk said.
He described his prison as an eight by eight concrete room with two steel chairs and steel bench. But it had no bathroom and no drinking fountain. Polk said he could hear voices outside the door, but even though he screamed and kicked on the door, no one came to rescue him.
“That's why we filed suit today because someone has to be held accountable for what happened,” said Polk’s attorney Cannon Lambert.
Polk was trapped without food, water or a bathroom. As a last resort he climbed into the drop ceiling and set off the fire sprinklers. The fire department responded and Polk was freed.
The jail’s director called what happened a perfect storm of mistakes and has promised to get to the bottom of what happened soon. An investigation is underway.
“Certainly anyone that was failing to perform their duties that contributed to this will be disciplined,” said Cara Smith the jail’s executive director. “Knock on wood, this has never happened before and I'd like to be able to guarantee it will never happen again, based on our review and based on whatever strengthening of procedures we'll put in place as a result of this.”
Polk is suing for unspecified damages. He said he can’t get what happened out of his mind.
“The mind seem to replay what your heart won't delete, so anytime I get some down time it just keep coming,” Polk said.