Lawsuit: LaSalle County deputies stripped woman after DUI arrest
BY JANET LUNDQUIST email@example.com October 1, 2013 3:20PM
Updated: November 3, 2013 6:24AM
A Coal City woman claims four LaSalle County deputies threw her to the ground, stripped off her clothes and forced her to sit naked in a jail cell after a DUI arrest earlier this year.
Dana J. Holmes made the allegations in an eight-count federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago against the county, Sheriff Tom Templeton and the four deputies. The lawsuit seeks more than $700,000 in damages plus costs.
Holmes was arrested in May by Marseilles police for driving under the influence, the lawsuit states.
Although she had the cash to post bond, police took her to the LaSalle County jail in the early-morning hours of May 19, the lawsuit says.
When she arrived at the jail, Deputy Samantha Kromm performed a pat-down of Holmes, according to the lawsuit, and Holmes states she cooperated. For unexplained reasons, two other deputies, Tyson Szafranski and Deputy Hollenbeck, threw her to the ground during the pat-down, the lawsuit says. The three deputies, along with Deputy Puckett, “attacked and restrained” her on the ground, according to the lawsuit.
Puckett and Hollenbeck’s first names do not appear in the lawsuit.
The four deputies then carried Holmes to a jail cell, where they removed all of her clothes and left her naked, the lawsuit says. The entire incident was recorded by a surveillance camera, and Holmes believes other officers watched the recording, the lawsuit states.
She eventually was taken out of the cell, still naked, for booking, and tried to cover herself with a blanket while she was being fingerprinted, the lawsuit states.
“There was no legitimate or necessary law enforcement or safety objective to stripping plaintiff of her clothing and forcing her to remain unclothed during her detention at the jail,” the lawsuit states. “The only objective of the officers was to harass, humiliate and inflict psychological pain on the plaintiff.”
In her filing, Holmes pointed out that state law prohibits police from conducting a strip search unless they have reason to believe the person is concealing a weapon or a controlled substance.
Templeton said Tuesday he was aware that a lawsuit had been filed but he had not seen a copy. He declined to comment on the allegations.
Templeton said the state’s attorney’s civil division will represent the sheriff’s department, as it handles all civil cases filed against the county, and it has asked Templeton to refer questions to the state’s attorney’s office.
Todd Martin, chief civil assistant state’s attorney, said Tuesday the county does not comment on pending litigation.